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Star receiver Ardell Brown leaving Seton Hill for UConn

Bill Beckner Jr.
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Seton Hill wide receiver Ardell Brown ranks fourth in NCAA Division II with 1,000 receiving yards this season

Ardell Brown is proof the new NCAA transfer portal works.

The big-play wide receiver from Seton Hill asked to have his name thrown into the hat so he could test the waters.

The redshirt junior knew he had a monster season for the Griffins and could, at the very least, draw a peek from a Division I coach or two.

Lo and behold, a bite on the line — and much more.

All of the sudden, Brown is leaving to accept a full scholarship to Connecticut where he will play Division I football. He gave the Huskies a verbal commitment.

“It’s just another opportunity from my Lord and Savior to play on a bigger stage for the glory of him,” the dutiful Brown said.

Beginning Oct. 15, 2018, student-athletes could add their names to the portal, essentially a nationwide database, which would permit schools to contact them without penalty.

Players who entered their names were not necessarily declaring their intention to transfer, but they could browse other options sans restrictions, while remaining enrolled at their current school.

After spotting the speedy Brown in the portal, Connecticut reached out to Brown’s trainer at Pursuit Performance, Bruce Johnson, and that started the process.

Brown is used to running routes, but this happened fast, even by his standards.

“(UConn assistant) Coach (Frank) Giufre asked (Johnson) if he knew anything about me,” Brown said.

With 81 receptions and 1,267 yards, Brown not only led the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in both categories this season but also broke his school record with the yardage total.

Brown (5-foot-11, 180 pounds), who caught nine touchdowns, was third in all of Division II in yards and sixth in catches.

He was named to the Don Hansen All-America third team on Tuesday.

He also earned All-PSAC first team, and D2 Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Super Region second team honors.

Brown, who was lightly recruited out of Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, N.Y., said he never imagined an opportunity would blossom to play at the Division I level.

“Not at all it: It was never a real thought of mine,” he said. “It always sounded cool but I never imagined it would happen.”

So, what does Brown plan to do with this opportunity?

“Continue to glorify God with my play and allow him to use this however he wants,” he said.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.