Texans Lineman Duane Brown: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Duane Brown, texans

By experience, Duane Brown is the leader of the Texans offense (Getty)

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. And while the biggest and best offensive line in the NFL may live in Dallas, the Houston Texans have a few heavy hitters of their own. Their leader is OT Duane Brown, the eight-year pro who is now the team’s longest tenured player. A first-round (26th overall) pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Brown has become a staple in the Houston community.

After steadily improving over his career, Brown is slowly gaining recognition as one of the NFL’s best tackles. That, along with his marriage to Houston radio personality Devi Dev, has caused Brown’s star to rise. The pair have appeared on HGTV discussing their home, they appeared on an NFL episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”, and now Brown and his wife will appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

Here’s the scoop on Brown:

1. Brown Was Originally a Tight End

duane brown, texans

Brown was a three-sport athlete in high school, and was ranked as one of the nation’s top tight ends (Getty)

Duane grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and attended Hermitage High School. There he excelled in track and field, and averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds for the basketball team. His best sport, obviously, was football. Rivals.com ranked him as the 49th best tight end in the nation, and he played both TE and defensive end before breaking his leg to end his senior season. He was recruited by Frank Beamer to play Virginia Tech, but was still positioned at tight end.

After redshirting his freshman year, Brown was an average tight end for the Hokies. He caught just three passes in 2004, and entered the 2005 season as the number two tight end. Two weeks before the season, Brown was switched to right tackle, where he thrived. He started there every game that season and the one after, grading as one of the country’s best lineman. During his senior year, Brown switched to the left side to fill team needs. Brown struggled during the switch, but impressed enough scouts on the right side to enter the draft.

2. He Was Drafted 26th Overall by Houston

duane brown, texans

Brown has been named to three Pro Bowls in his eight NFL seasons, all with Houston (Getty).

The Texans were optimistic in 2008, coming off an 8-8 record in their first season without David Carr. The Texans were slotted to pick 18th, but traded down with Baltimore for two additional picks. Picking 26th overall and looking to protect Matt Schaub, Houston drafted Duane Brown to solidify their line. The Ravens took Joe Flacco at 18.

Duane struggled to adjust to the NFL early on, surrendering 19 sacks through his first two seasons. He has since grown stronger, and developed into one of the league’s best. He has gone four years without giving up more than six sacks in a season, letting up just three in 2014. Brown was named first-team All-Pro in 2012, and has been to the Pro Bowl for three consecutive seasons. Brown has certainly improved, but the Texans win total has not.

Brown is currently playing through a seven-year, $56.2 million contract he signed in August 2012. He will receiver $7 million this season, but that number will jump to over $9 million next season.

3. He Married a Famous Radio Personality

duane brown, texans

Duane became half of a Houston power couple when he married Dj Devi Dev in 2012 (IG @DuaneBrown76)

Devi Dev got her got her start as a hip-hop DJ in Los Angeles before making a major move to 97.9 in Houston. Brown would listen to Dev often, interested by both her alluring voice and musical preferences. When Devi was promoting her birthday party at a posh Houston nightclub, Brown reserved a table and bottle service. He introduced himself, and she agreed to a date. Their first date was an A Tribe Called Quest documentary, followed by dinner. The two dated long distance, as Dev traveled to New York to work on new shows and as a correspondent for MTV. Duane proposed in November 2011, and the two were married in July 2012. Duane and Devi appeared on “Say Yes to the Dress” in advance of their wedding, and Devi and her bridesmaids rocked custom chucks for the reception. The two flew to Thailand for their honeymoon.

While at first Devi was the famous half of the relationship, the dynamic is starting to change. Dev has done her share of television, but Brown’s extended time in Houston has made him a local favorite. The two are working on a possible series in the future, and should be a fixture on this season of Hard Knocks.

4. Brown Loves Working In the Community

With eight years under his belt in Houston, Brown regularly gives back to his community. In 2013 he was named the Texans representative for the United Way, an organization that helps to better the lives of children. Brown helps kids to get outside and encourages reading, visiting schools regularly. In 2014, The City of Houston officially declared December 2nd “Duane Brown Day” in honor of his commitment to serving the community of Houston.

Outside of Houston, Brown works with charities on a national level. For several years Brown has been a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association, working on a campaign to help end Type 2 Diabetes through education. Brown knows the struggles of diabetes personally, as his mother and grandmother suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

5. He Loves Food & Travel in the Offseason

duane brown, texans

Duane and Devi spent time in Paris before the start of the 2015 season (IG @DuaneBrown76)

Unsurprisingly, the 6’4” 300-plus pound Brown loves to eat. Duane’s Instagram is filled with delicious dishes, from breakfast to dinner. Occasionally his feed will show a picture of Devi or of his dog, Legend, but mostly it’s pictures of steak. Brown’s dog also has it’s own Instagram, available here.

When Brown isn’t training for the NFL, he and Devi enjoy traveling the globe. According to the bio on Duane’s website, Brown “has been to Hong Kong, Thailand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and Italy and this year plans to journey to the Mediterranean and South Africa.” Most recently, the Browns enjoyed time in Paris before preparing for the 2015 season.

See more of Duane and Devi on this season of Hard Knocks.

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