John Legend’s social media presence is quite eclectic. It often includes promotion of his music and other projects as well as posts about political causes and his life with his wife Chrissy Teigen and their children.
But this week, Legend had a different kind of post. He was congratulating his nephew, Mike Brown-Stephens, on his commitment to play football for the University of Minnesota. Brown-Stephens is the son of one of Legend’s siblings.
“So proud of my nephew Mike B Stephens!,” Legend tweeted Wednesday night to his 12.3 million followers. “This will present a dilemma for me during Ohio St.-Minnesota games, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” Legend was born in Ohio, which explains his Buckeyes fandom, although he attended the University of Pennsylvania and not Ohio State.
Mike Brown-Stephens is a wide receiver who stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 178 pounds. A native of Springfield, Ohio, which is also his uncle’s hometown, Brown-Stephens was also recruited by Ball State, Kent State, Bowling Green, and Eastern Kentucky, according to 24/7 Sports. But he opted to go to Minnesota and play for head coach P.J. Fleck. He had orally committed back in July but officially signed this week.
Brown-Stephens is the same nephew who, back in 2010, accidentally broke one of his uncle’s Grammy Award trophies, at a time when he was around 9-years-old, according to the Daily Mail. The Grammy was for 2005 Best R&B Album for Get Lifted, and Legend waved it off at the time, possibly because he already had five others. Now that Legend has 10 Grammys and at least one of all of the other EGOT trophies – and two children of his own – he presumably now keeps the hardware on a higher shelf.
GopherHole, a website that covers University of Minnesota sports, praised the recruit for his “short range quickness” as well as his athletic ability.
“Brown-Stephens is someone the coaches can work with to unlock his full potential as a player,” the site added.
The University of Minnesota football program’s YouTube channel posted a highlight video of Brown-Stephens’ high school career.
Minnesota’s football team had an up-and-down year in 2018, in Fleck’s second year as coach, but they did defeat Wisconsin in the final Big Ten game of the season, winning the trophy known as Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the first time since 2002. Minnesota also qualified for a bowl and will square off against Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on December 26.