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Antonio Brown donates six benches worth $105,000 to CMU football


Professional footballer Antonio Brown makes an appearance during the spring game on April 21 in Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Six heated benches are coming to the Central Michigan football team, courtesy of NFL All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown.

The benches are from Dragon Seats, the only manufacturer of heated football benches used by the NFL. Brown's gift is valued at $105,000.

Right after the Chippewas announced the hiring of new coach Jim McElwain, Brown reached out to CMU Athletic Director Michael Alford to see what he could do to help the football program in Mount Pleasant.

"These benches really help keep me loose and ready to perform no matter the conditions and I am excited to see how they help current and future Chippewas succeed," Brown said. "CMU will always be a special place for me and I am happy to be able to give back."

In the 2018 season under former coach John Bonamego, CMU finished 1-11 overall and 0-8 in Mid-American Conference play. Of 129 Division I FBS teams, the Chippewas finished 128th in total offense. However, the defense finished No. 36 in the country.

Brown played for CMU from 2007-09. He won two MAC Championships and earned All-MAC honors in all three seasons. In 2009, he helped the Chippewas to a 12-2 record and No. 23 finish in the AP Top 25 poll. Brown finished his career with 305 receptions for 3,199 yards, 22 touchdowns and five returns for a score.

McElwain said he was thankful for Brown's gift and assured the new heated seats will have a "tremendous impact" on the football team.

"Being able to have a top-of-the-line product that is used by most NFL teams is a huge asset for us and will help our players perform at their best," McElwain said. "It also means a lot for Antonio to invest in the success of our student-athletes and help them flourish just like he did during his time at CMU."

Since being selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown has been picked to play in the Pro Bowl seven times (2011, 2013-18), is a four-time First-team All-Pro (2014-17), two-time NFL receiving yards leader (2014, 2017), two-time NFL receptions leader (2014, 2015) and NFL receiving touchdowns leader (2018).

Brown has 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns in his NFL career. He's added 2,932 return yards for five scores.

I want to thank Antonio for this generous gift," Alford said. "I know this is a product that Antonio really values and helps him during games, so it was a natural choice when deciding on a project that will have the biggest impact on our student-athletes."