April 28, 2003
Brown senior All-American Chas Gessner (Hyattsville, MD) has signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Gessner will join the Patriots for this weekend's mini-camp in Foxboro.
He joins former Brown runningback Michael Malan '02 on the Patriots roster. Malan is currently playing the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe. Former Brown wide receiver Sean Morey '99 is a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and playing for the Barcelona Dragons NFL Europe, while Drew Inzer '00 is on the active roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gessner led the nation with 11.4 receptions per game, completing the 2002 season with 114 receptions, third best in NCAA I-AA history, behind Brown's Stephen Campbell (120) and URI's Brian Forester (115). He finished sixth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the nation's top I-AA player. Gessner's sixth place finish is the highest finish ever for a Brown football player. He was also a finalist for the Walter Payton Award in 2001.
A first team All-Ivy, ECAC and All-New England selection, Gessner tied an NCAA I-AA record with 24 catches (207 yards, 2 touchdowns) against Rhode Island, a record held by Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jerry Rice, who caught 24 passes for Mississippi Valley State against Southern University in 1983.
Gessner impacted the NCAA and Ivy League record books with his outstanding season and career. His average of 11.4 receptions per game ranks third in I-AA history, and his 292 career receptions are 4th in NCAA I-AA history, and second in the Ivy League record book. Gessner's 36 career touchdown receptions are second best in Ivy football history and 10th in NCAA I-AA history. He completed his distinguished career with 3,408 all-time receiving yards, 18th best in I-AA history.