The Brown Bears opened practice on Saturday, Aug. 17 in preparation for their season opener on the West Coast against Cal Poly. Brown started physical testing on Friday and will practice every day until Wednesday, Sep. 5, when classes start.
After winning only two games last season, Head Coach Phil Estes will look to improve in the standings with a new group of kids and different schemes on both sides of the ball. Estes will coach in his 200th career game in the season opener, and has won three Ivy League Championships since taking the reins for the Bears in 1998.
Twenty-four of the players on the current roster will be playing collegiate football for the first time, including Cranston, RI standout William Such. From Cranston High School West, Such was the RI Gatorade Player of the Year in 2017, as well as the USA Today Offensive Player of the Year. Listed as a linebacker, Such joins a talented incoming class that will look to change the outcome of Brown Football over the next few years.
Sophomore running back Darius Daies returns after an impressive freshman campaign. He led the Bears in rushing last season with 263 yards on 67 carries, and was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week in Brown’s win over the University of Rhode Island.
Nicholas Duncan, a senior, will take over at quarterback after appearing in half of the games last year as a backup. He’ll be throwing to a talented group of returning receivers, including Jakob Prall and Jaelon Blandburg, both juniors. Prall led all receivers 51 receptions for 587 yards last season, while Blandburg was right behind him with 33 receptions and 349 yards.
The week after Cal Poly, Brown returns to Providence to host their long-time rival Harvard in a night game, broadcasted on ESPNU. This will kick off the Bear’s home schedule, and they don’t leave Rhode Island until October 13th.
They host Georgetown the Saturday after Harvard’s game, and then travel down to Kingston to play URI in the Governor’s Cup. In last year’s cup, Brown was able to come back to take a 24-21 victory and one of their two wins on the season. They also defeated the Bryant Bulldogs from Smithfield, who the Bears don’t meet in the 2018 season.
After taking a trip to Princeton the following week, Brown comes back home for games against Cornell and Penn. They then go to Yale for a game, return home for Columbia, and close out the season at Dartmouth on Nov. 17.