“Obviously our hearts go out to Kelby and his family,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “As I said last night, here is a young man who is an All-ACC and All-America-type player on the field, and even a better person off the field. He has been and will continue to be an integral part of our program. He’s as fine a representative of our program as we have, and nothing will change that. He’s seen this type of adversity before, and I’m confident he’ll overcome this challenge.”
Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday and will be performed by Dr. Claude T. Moorman III, Duke’s head team physician and the director of Duke Sports Medicine.
Brown, a 6-2, 230-pound native of Matthews, N.C., had been named to the 2014 preseason watch lists for the Butkus Award, Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award and Rotary Lombardi Award.
A first team All-ACC selection in 2013, Brown ranked second in the league with 8.77 tackles per game to help the Blue Devils post a school-record 10 wins and claim the ACC Coastal Division crown for the first time in program history. He added 11.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, two interceptions, two caused fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and eight QB pressure.
Brown has overcome two surgeries on his right knee since arriving at Duke with procedures in December of 2010 and February of 2012. He missed the entire 2012 campaign while recovering from the latter surgery.
In 32 career games (29 starts), Brown has amassed 242 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 quarterback sacks, 15 QB pressures, two interceptions, six fumble recoveries, three caused fumbles and five PBUs. In addition, he has compiled double figures in the tackle column nine times including a career-best 17 stops against both Georgia Tech and Miami during the 2013 season.
Brown graduated from Duke in June, 2014 with a degree in evolutionary anthropology while posting a cumulative grade point average of 3.729. He was named to the Academic All-ACC team in both 2011 and 2013.