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Illinois State QB Brown back on the field

Normal, IL (Sports Network) - Illinois State starting quarterback Matt Brown has healed quickly enough from hip surgery last month that he was back on the field Thursday during the Redbirds' spring practice.

Brown, who had missed the entire spring camp after having the surgery on the torn labrum in his left knee, participated in individual drills and 7-on-7 work.

Brown will lead all returning quarterbacks in the Missouri Valley Football Conference after averaging 242.3 passing yards per game and with a 144.0 passing efficiency rating last season. He threw for 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The Redbirds will have a walkthrough Friday before wrapping spring practice with a Red-White Scrimmage on Saturday.

The Redbirds had a 6-5 record last season. Their 2011 season opener is at Eastern Illinois on Sept. 1 - the 100th meeting in that rivalry.

04/22 09:45:19 ET

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Samuel G. Freedman's "Breaking The Line" vividly recreates the world of black college football in the civil rights era with a gripping chronicle of the 1967 season for coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling State and Alonzo S. "Jake" Gaither at Florida A&M.