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Daniel Brown Named NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHNSON, Kan.Leading one of the stingiest defenses this season, Hutchinson Community College sophomore defensive end Daniel Brown was named the 2023 NJCAA National Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound defensive end from Kansas City (Bishop Ward), Kansas was the nation’s leader in quarterback sacks with 18 and was third in the NJCAA in tackles for loss with 23.5, leading the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense and No. 5 rushing defense.

Brown is the third Blue Dragon to win NJCAA National Defensive Player of the Year honors. Defensive tackle Eugene Kinlaw won the award in 2008 and cornerback Roterius Torrence won it in 2020/21.

The Blue Dragon defensive end is the ninth overall National Player of the Year winner in all sports. Along with the three football national award winners, Kadeem Allen (2014, men’s basketball), Kyle Simonds (2014, baseball); Sarah Rothe (2014, Division II softball), 2017 Shakur Juiston (2017, men’s basketball), Michael Helman (2017, baseball) and Ben Partridge (2021, men’s golf) are the other Blue Dragons to earn national honors.

“Daniel is the ultimate professional at his job,” Blue Dragon head coach Drew Dallas said. ” He has earned everything throughout the process and is an extremely hard worker. His mentality and mindset paired with his skillset and athleticism make him a special player on the defensive side of the ball.”

Brown, who was also named the 2023 Jayhawk Conference Defensive Player of the Year, earned many accolades with his ability to rush the quarterback. But Brown was equally effective disrupting the opponents’ rushing game as well.

Brown finished the season with 52 overall tackles, including 32 unassisted tackles. He added two forced fumbles, 13 quarterback hurries one pass broken up and two safeties this season. The Dragons allowed only 11.7 points and 67.2 rushing yards per game, holding both Ellsworth and Garden City to negative rushing yards in those respective games.

But his 18 quarterback sacks drew the most attention to the Blue Dragon defensive end who has committed to the University of Illinois.

+ Brown had the second-most sacks in Blue Dragon single-season history and is seventh on the Hutchinson career list.

+ Brown is the first Blue Dragon to lead the nation in quarterback sacks since Tre Pinkney in 2020/21.

+ Those 18 sacks are the most in the NJCAA since 2019 when Celestin Haba of Scottsdale, Sam Okyayinono of Mesabi Range and Sam Williams of Northeast Mississippi all had 17.5 sacks.

Brown registered sacks in 10 consecutive games this season, which is the second-longest consecutive streak in Blue Dragon history. Only Troy West’s run of sacks in 14 consecutive games over two seasons was longer.

Brown had back-to-back two sack games against Ellsworth and No. 5 Iowa Central in early September and then had back-to-back three-sack games against No. 11 Dodge City and Garden City in October.

The two-time Jayhawk Conference Defensive Player of the Week had back-to-back eight-tackle games against Dodge City and Garden City as well.

In Hutchinson’s 42-28 come-from-behind win over Iowa Western on November 11, Brown notched two sacks, including a sack/fumble, and six total tackles. That sack/fumble was the momentum-changing play the Blue Dragons needed against the Reivers. Trailing 21-7 late in the second quarter, Brown’s sack/fumble was recovered by Walter Bob Jr. at the Iowa Western 23-yard line with 1:02 to play in the quarter. Two plays later, Samari Collier found Oran Singleton with a 31-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds to play in the period. Hutchinson trailed 21-14 at halftime.

“Not only was his production elite for us this season but also his leadership on and off the field was special,” Dallas said “This was Daniel’s first season of playing along the defensive line and he has a bright future ahead of him. He will be fun to watch continue to grow throughout his football career.”


Iowa Central2-0-22.0/142.0/1400/00/03000
Dodge City4-4-84.0/373.0/2810/00/01000
Garden City5-3-83.5/203.0/1800/00/02000
Iowa Western4-2-62.0/92.0/910800800000
E. Mississippi1-2-30.5/40.5/400/00/02000