Maryland head athletic trainer Wes Robinson commiserated with the Terrapins quarterback before closing the door to the training room downstairs at Gossett Team House, allowing Brown to have a private moment with his parents over the speakerphone.
“We all broke down,” C.J. Brown said Tuesday afternoon in College Park, less than a week from his return from injury, pain, doubt and everything in between. “They knew I was sad. I was crying. When something is taken away from you that you care so much about . . .”
Clark Brown said: “Remembering those moments are still emotional. Watching that as a parent is just heartbreaking. It’s been a long year. Saturday can’t get here quick enough.”
This is a tale about a read-option quarterback on a Washington area team who blew out his knee last season, one you probably haven’t heard about but really need to. It’s the story of a kid who could run and pass and mentor kids in Louisiana this summer without
being kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy.
C.J. Brown doesn’t have a Gatorade-sponsored documentary to chart his comeback. Nor does he have a slogan for his rehab process. But he has football again, and he’s as thankful for that as the most famous young NFL quarterback in the world. RGIII could relate to CJsquared.
“You definitely had the low points, especially in the beginning where you can’t do things for yourself,” said Brown, who shares his full name with his father. “Everyone else is waiting on you. You can’t get water for yourself. You can’t get food for yourself. You’re just being needy. It’s just a bad feeling.
“Then the pain you go through waking up every morning for treatments. It was just like, you know, you question yourself. Do you really want to do this? Can you keep fightin’ through? Your team is out there struggling, and you can’t go out there and help them. It was definitely tough, one of the lower points I’ve had to go through.”
Brown is 21, has been in the Maryland program for four years and participated in graduation ceremonies in College Park in December. His graduating class didn’t know that Brown — health and performance permitting — still has two years remaining on the Maryland football team because of medical redshirt seasons (Brown also missed all but one game of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury).
On Wednesday, he begins graduate work on his master’s degree in supply chain management.
“We always joke with him, ‘You might have your PhD before your eligibility is up,’ ” defensive back Jeremiah Johnson said before C.J. sat down at a cafeteria table in the football training facility.