I remember vividly watching #27 of the Central Michigan Chippewas as he continuously torched my Western Michigan Broncos five or six years ago.
I was impressed with his quickness and speed but thought his size may limit him a bit should he enter the National Football League.
Now in his fourth NFL season, #27 now wears #84 and is the number one wide receiver for our Pittsburgh Steelers.
Should he keep his current pace, Antonio Brown will easily eclipse 100 receptions and he has already gone over 1,000 yards receiving on the season. When you look at what he has meant to the Steelers to this point in 2013, it’s hard not to at least mention his name when discussing NFL Most Valuable Player candidates.
Brown currently leads the league in receptions with 80. He ranks second in receiving yards with 1,044 and is fifth in yards per game at 94.9.
Brown is more than just a receiver as most of you know because he also returns punts. He currently ranks 13th in the NFL with a return average of 13.2 yards per return.
Overall, Brown ranks fourth in the NFL in total yardage with 1,318 yards. He trails LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles and Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson’s yardage is impressive but the vast majority is strictly return yardage.
Both McCoy and Charles along with the usual suspects of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Calvin Johnson, will garner much of the MVP discussion as they should. They are all having great seasons but any discussion should also include Brown.
Let’s remember that Brown had many detractors when it came to him being able to replace Mike Wallace as the Steelers’ number one wide receiver. Daniel Dudley of Trib-Live Radio and I had many discussions as to whether Brown could be the guy and he has proven he can be.
Last week, I heard experts ad nauseam say how you shouldn’t be playing Brown in your fantasy league because Joe Haden was just too good of a cornerback. All Brown did was catch six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Chances are that Brown will receive votes but will not win the league’s MVP. Name recognition and the usual politics will more than likely have something to do with it, but that should not diminish his numbers and effort in 2013.
Brown has more than proven he is a top receiver in the NFL.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 630pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.