EDMONTON, Alberta – Fort Hays State kicker Dante Brown was picked in the 2020 Canadian Football League Draft on Thursday (Apr. 30) by the Edmonton Eskimos. The Eskimos selected the two-time Don Hansen Division II National Special Teams Player of the Year in the fifth round with the 41st pick in the draft. Brown will get the opportunity to start a professional career in his home country, a native of Mississauga, Ontario.
Brown was the Don Hansen National Special Teams Player of the Year for a second-straight season in 2019 as a senior. He averaged 1.72 field goals per game in his final year as a Tiger, succeeding on 19-of-23 attempts. He added in a school-record 52 PAT makes for 109 points on the season. He racked up 232 points over two years, making 47 field goals and 91 PAT tries as the Tigers' kicker.
In 2018, Brown had one of the most successful kicking seasons in NCAA Division II history, converting 28 field goals out of 33 attempts. His 28 field goals in 2018 were second most for a season in Division II history, only two shy of the record 30 set by Jeff Glas from the University of North Dakota in 2005. Brown broke the MIAA record of 25 made by Simon Mathieson in 2015, but Mathieson set that record in 15 games played compared to just 12 for Brown. Brown also broke Mathieson's MIAA record for attempts in a season. His 123 points in 2018 set a new FHSU single-season scoring record.
Even with his impressive accolades at kicker, Brown was also an All-America selection at punter in both 2017 and 2018 for Fort Hays State. He served as both the team's kicker and punter in 2018, earning All-MIAA First Team accolades at both positions. He averaged 41.4 yards per punt in 2018 with 14 attempts going for more than 50 yards. He tied the school record for longest punt with an 84-yard boot. In 2017, he served solely as the team's punter and averaged 43.5 yards per attempt, which included 21 attempts going for more than 50 yards. Over the two years in a punting role, he averaged 42.4 yards per attempt, second best in FHSU history. Brown's capabilities as both a kicker and punter could come in handy at the next level.
In his career at FHSU, Brown found himself on All-America lists 10 times over three years as both a kicker and punter. That included All-America selections by five organizations in 2019, earning first-team honors from four of the organizations.
The Edmonton Eskimos organization is no stranger to Fort Hays State players. Most recently, Shaquille Cooper has been a productive running back for the Eskimos the last two seasons. Cooper completed his career at FHSU in 2016.
Brown continues a trend of three straight Fort Hays State kickers to move on to professional football leagues beyond their time at FHSU. Drew O'Brien and Brandon Brown, Dante's predecessors at kicker for FHSU, both went on to play for teams that are part of arena football leagues.