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Pronounced: 'WUHD-DIN-ME'. WUDDNME is a lifestyle that came to be during a post game interview with NFL wide receiver, Jaron Brown.
"This saying is a way of life. Everyone faces adversity in life, but it’s how we respond to those obstacles, that truly defines our character. I’ve personally had to overcome many barriers to get to where I'm at today, but at the end of the day, it WUDDNME. It’s all about acknowledging the success, but remaining humble and hungry for more. This saying equates to everything I’m about." - Jaron Brown
Our Founder, Jaron Brown, was born in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. He grew up in a military family that moved around a lot as a child, before attending high school in Cheraw, South Carolina, a small town with a population of just 5,000 people. From a young age, Jaron began to develop the work ethic and drive that he displays today, and received a scholarship to play collegiate football at Clemson University. At Clemson, Brown was a four-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member and Co-Caption of the football team.
As an undrafted rookie out of Clemson University, Jaron joined the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 where he spent 5 seasons before signing with the Seattle Seahawks where he currently plays.
Jaron has had a remarkable journey from a small town in NE South Carolina to an undrafted WR who ultimately achieved his professional dream of playing in the NFL. However, despite the countless hours training, hard work, and his commitment to the game of football, at the end of the day, "it WUDDNME." WUDDNME is remaining humble, remembering where you came from, giving thanks to those that helped you, and always striving for more.
While the spirit of WUDDNME has lived within Jaron for more than a decade, it was his post-game, in-the-moment response that sparked a movement. After seeing the feedback from fans and teammates sharing their WUDDNME stories, Jaron and his wife Ashley knew WUDDNME was more than a saying.
In 2018, the Brown family introduced a WUDDNME inspired casual clothing brand. High quality clothing designed and styled in the U.S., the WUDDNME line is a way for anyone who accepts success, remains humble but hungry for more, to express themselves.
"I still feel like I have a lot to prove." Jaron Brown
Jaron Brown was a two-time state champion in high school and one of the nation's top recruits going into college at Clemson University. You can look back at his successes and see that he was destined for NFL stardom. But if you look a little closer at his life, you may see that NFL stardom may have been the least likely result of his youth.
Brown was born on January 8th, 1990 in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. This is where his father, Norman Brown Jr. was stationed at while in the Navy at the time. Just three years later, Jaron made his first move of many more to come when they landed in Naples, Italy, where his father was stationed at a Naval base there. Italy paved way to three more moves as a kid of a military family, including San Diego, and Virginia Beach, before his father retired from the military after serving for 20 years in 2004, and they moved back to Jaron’s parents' hometown of Cheraw, South Carolina to start high school.
With so many moves as a kid from the east coast to the west coast, from the islands to different countries, Jaron's childhood lacked stability. He mentions struggling to have long term friendships because once he'd become close with somebody, it was time to move once again. "Back then they didn't have Facebook or other ways like that to easily stay in touch," said Jaron. This childhood is no stranger to military families and the kids that grow up with a parent protecting and serving our country.
"I became very disciplined I would say," Brown said of growing up in a military household. "I mean that kind of carried over. [I'm] disciplined as a person. I try to carry that over in football as well. That's just kind of doing the little things right, being a disciplined route runner, being specific with my mechanics as far as releases and everything."
Jaron didn’t have a childhood like most of us. He spent parts of his childhood living in a trailer, sleeping on a bean bag chair as his bed, constantly had new surroundings and schools to get used to which made it tough to make good friends. Reading that might make you think that his adversity is the very reason that he became such a great football player as it could have been his one constant in his life... but surprisingly, Jaron didn't even play organized football until he was in the 8th grade.
"My brother and I were never allowed to play recreationally or even join Pop Warner Football for that matter because our mother feared for our safety. She’ll be the first to tell you, “I was afraid they would get hurt.” Before then, my only experience in football was from playing with the neighborhood kids every day." said Jaron.
Jaron credits his father, Norman Brown Jr., and his mother, Regina Brown, as both playing a big role in raising him to be the man that he is today. He has one older sibling, Norman Brown III, who is just 21 months apart in age.
“My big bro and I were very competitive growing up and often times he had the slight edge over me until I hit middle school.” says Jaron.
High school in Cheraw was where Jaron began to flourish as an athlete. He felt stability and familiarity having cousins to attend school with for the first time, and he came into his own as a three sport athlete in football, basketball, and track.
Jaron helped lead Cheraw High School to back-to-back state championships. With 31 receptions for 516 yards, and 16 touchdowns as a senior, Brown was named all-state, all-area, and all-region. He also accounted for 100 tackles and four interceptions on the other side of the ball as a senior safety which lead to acknowledgement as the Palmetto All-Star Back-of-the-Year, AA player-of-the-year by High School Sports Report, #57 athlete in the nation, #16 prospect in South Carolina by Rivals.com, #56 wideout in the nation by Scout.com, and #36 wideout in the nation by SuperPrep. As a basketball player, Jaron was named the team’s top defensive player as a senior, and in track, he ran the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m as an all-region track performer.
After nearly a dozen scholarship offers to choose from, Jaron "made the best decision of my life in choosing to go to Clemson University." Brown starred on the football team and thrived in the classroom.
"At Clemson, I realized early on that athletics won't be the thing that drives me through life, so I made it my ultimate goal to graduate near the top of my class," said Jaron.
Not only was Brown able to obtain a degree in Business Management but additionally, he was also able to earn an undergraduate degree in Marketing. Jaron Brown finished college at Clemson University with an overall GPA of 3.6 graduating with two degrees and honors.
On the football side of things, by his senior year, Brown was one of the team’s most reliable, physical, and clutch receivers. He hauled in 87 receptions for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns. He also put up 341 yards on 17 kickoff returns. Brown was on the field for 1,926 snaps over 50 games (32 as a starter), which lead to being a two-time Academic All-ACC selection, and a four-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member. Brown was chosen as a permanent team Co-Captain of the Clemson Football Team.
"This meant a lot to me considering the voting being done by my teammates," said Brown.
Jaron may have been a captain of an NCAA D1 football powerhouse, but he was no lock to be a pro.
"I knew walking off that field, after playing my last collegiate game in a Tiger uniform, my chances of getting drafted were slim. But, I figured that I had nothing else to lose, so I began training rigorously for my pro day." said Jaron.
For the next two months, Jaron worked his tail off in hopes of an opportunity to spark some interest in NFL scouts. Finally, it was draft day. With his family around him to be there for the big day, the excitement quickly turned to disappointment. Round by round his name went uncalled, before the 2013 NFL Draft concluded. Jaron never got the call. He went undrafted. But once the draft concluded, his phone began to ring as teams were looking to sign the top talents left for the practice squads and to compete for jobs. Jaron chose to sign with the Arizona Cardinals because he felt like he had the best chance to compete for a job theree and to play. He didn’t want to settle for just being a practice squad guy.
"By the time the draft came, my name didn’t get called. Going undrafted sucks, it’s the hard way in the league but it's also a blessing because you can only go up from the bottom. I had a chip on my shoulder to prove that I belong." said Jaron.
With the Cardinals, Brown competed his way onto the roster with special teams. It took two years before his offensive snaps outpaced his special team's snaps. It took another two years before his targets as a wide receiver outpaced the number of games he played. This can be mentally exhausting to the point where most give up and find a new career to pursue.
“The thing people don’t understand is the harsh reality of the NFL.” says Jaron. “Guys are being brought in weekly to take your job so remaining in a tip-top physical and emotional state is a must.”
Jaron credits veteran wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, with his understanding of “how to be a pro” during this process of trying to crack the everyday lineup.
“I was fortunate to learn from a great group of guys that I grew up watching. One of the more influential guys was the old head Larry Fitz. Watching him, how he prepares for a game and practice, and how he attacks his offseason workouts really made me respect and appreciate the position that I’m in. He’s a guy that was drafted in the first round, probably 10 years my senior, and was still working like he’s a rookie. It put things into perspective for me. For the next few years I would emulate him and learn how to be a pro.” says Jaron.
Jaron Brown has already beaten the odds. He went from traveling military brat to one of the nations top recruits. He went from sleeping on bean bag chairs, to graduating college with honors as an NCAA D1 player. He went from going undrafted to an NFL contract. He’s a success story beyond all measures. However, Jaron Brown doesn’t settle, and doesn’t view himself as a success story. Simply being in the NFL didn’t satisfy him. He wanted to start. He wanted a career. He was gunning for greatness. However, Jaron first had to face another hurdle of adversity that could have ended it all.
“My ACL tear in 2016 was a pretty significant time for me,” says Jaron. “Personally, it was a lot of uncertainty in the air.”
Jaron was entering his final season under contract with the Arizona Cardinals, and was far from guaranteed to have a job when he was fully recovered from the injury. This is where the emergence of Jaron Brown’s mantra, “Wuddnme,” came from.
“I was off to a pretty good start after tearing it up in preseason that year. I can recall us playing the Patriots and me catching a defining third down catch to set us up in field goal range to win the game. We ended up losing this game, but it was my simple answer to a reporter casually telling me the importance of that play, “Wuddnme man” is what I replied.” said Jaron.
Wuddnme translates to "wasn't me." To many, it might not make any sense. But, for anyone who's had to fight heavy odds, it makes perfect sense. According to Jaron’s website, Wuddnme.com, Wuddnme, “is remaining humble, remembering where you came from, giving thanks to those that helped you, and always striving for more.”
In 2016, he was offered a contract extension by Arizona which showed good faith on their part, and another chance for Jaron. Jaron made that decision worth their while when he proved to them that he had learned “to be a pro” as he had aimed. When opportunity knocked, he answered with a breakout season in 2017 with 31 catches for 477 yards and four touchdowns.
That next year, Jaron received the Ed Block Courage Award, an award voted on by his teammates, for an athlete returning from a major injury as role models for inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.
“The fact that this award was based on my teammates voting made it so much more special,” said Jaron.
After his career year, Jaron entered free agency for the first time in 2018 and signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
“He’s been just steady as can be. He’s been able to do everything. He comes to us like he’s an eight or ten-year pro kind of guy," Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll, said during a press conference. "He seems to know everything that he needs to do. He’s a really specific, precise route runner. Guys are really counting on him. He’s a big guy. He’s all over the special teams groups. He’s a marvelous addition."
"He’s special. You know what JB has? He’s got a great poise to him. He never panics," Quarterback, Russell Wilson, said. "I love that about him so far. He’s got just a quiet confidence, ferociousness. When he plays, you can tell.”
Wilson coudn’t have been more spot on. He never panics. He does have a quiet confidence and a ferociousness about him. JB is special. When looking at Jaron’s whole life, adversity seems to be where he thrives the most. When the cards are stacked against him, he is at his best. His confidence in himself allows him to never give up. It could be his disciplines military family upbringing. It could be that he’s overcome adversity that was out of his control in the past, and succeeded time and time again when he does have some control. It could be his successes, or it could be his failures.
"Just kind of being put in those situations, facing adversity. It's not my first rodeo," Jaron said. "I've been playing ball for awhile and just kind of had to perform in big moments. It's kind of being set in that mentality and I practice that way too. That's kind of how my mindset's been. I've been that way my whole life. Pretty calm."
Jaron’s journey is far from over, but is already a book worthy story worth sharing that continues to grow year after year and this article isn’t even touching the surface of it yet. From a bean bag chair to penthouse suites. Jaron Brown has overcome the odds, and continues to do so every day single day. He’s a military brat who lacked stability, slept on a bean bag chair, lacked close friends as a kid, got a late start in his passion, went undrafted, and blew out his knee. But Jaron Brown is also a state champion, a college graduate, a team captain, an NFL wide receiver, and his greatest accomplish yet, he’s a proud husband to his wife Ashley, and a proud father to his daughter Brielle.
“I met my wife Ashley on a plane on the way back to Phoenix in 2014. Talk about a chance encounter, I wasn’t even supposed to be on that flight, I just so happened to change my connector that morning. Within the next two years, she would give me the greatest gift, my daughter Brielle. The birth of Brielle was significant in my life and gave me a greater purpose. It wasn’t just about me anymore.” says Jaron.
Since entering the league in 2013, Jaron goes back each year to where it all started in Cheraw, South Carolina. There, he hosts an annual kids football camp at his old high school which is free for the kids attending.
“I never had the opportunity to receive actual instruction from anyone let alone an NFL player. I felt that it was important to be able to give back to those kids who don’t have the resources to go to the paid camps that colleges and other organizations offer. The whole town of Cheraw was able to pull our resources together and made this camp bigger and bigger every year.” said Jaron of the camp.
This isn’t the only way Jaron gives back as he speaks at military camps, with youth, and is now using his clothing brand WUDDNME to help share his story, and others stories of overcoming adversity to inspire and empower people to know that they can overcome any hurdle they face. Jaron has proven time, and time again, that anything is possible.
Now that you know what made Jaron Brown who he is today, we’d love to hear your story. Join our growing community on Facebook and let us know your story to inspire others that could benefit from the struggles you’ve overcome, or share the struggle you’re facing to get some help through it: CLICK HERE