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Dresden McIver-Brown: Gridiron to graduation

Gianluca Cuevas
McIver-Brown found his passion in occupational therapy as he enjoys helping people in need.

From the field to the classroom, life as a student athlete can be busy. Balancing practice, games, homework, and a social life can be overwhelming to some student athletes. However, with dedication and support systems, student athletes can juggle their busy lives, like UTEP graduating senior and football’s defensive end Dresden McIver-Brown.   

Having roots in Selma, Texas, McIver-Brown’s football career started at the age of six. 

“When I was six, my dad wanted me to start playing football, so he made me start playing then,” McIver-Brown said. “He was the head coach, so I really had no choice at that time.”  

While one of his focuses was football, McIver-Brown began his college career in 2020 studying occupational therapy. 

“My concentration in occupational therapy is rehab sciences,” McIver-Brown said.” I was originally here to be an architectural engineer, but then I took a career test one of my advisors told me to take, and my number one option was occupation therapy. I thought it was kind of interesting and wanted to see what that was about.” 

Though he was unsure about his career, McIver-Brown found his passion in occupational therapy. He said with the clinical hours, he found he enjoyed helping people in need.

“The aspect of helping people and learning different ways to help with different issues and types of disabilities,” McIver-Brown said. “Being a great mentor or role model in that for people who are struggling.” 

McIver-Brown made his first appearance as a Miner in UTEP’s home win over Abilene Christian.  

“UTEP was the first school to take a big chance on me,” McIver-Brown said, “I never really thought, growing up, I would be even a high school player. I got to a point where I started getting offers and UTEP was the biggest offer I got.” 

He says he learned a lot about himself outside of football and while being a part of the sport that shaped him. He says the challenges of football shape each player differently. 

“With football, I had a lot of injuries. My first year here, I tore like three different things in my knee, so I had to get surgery for that. Then I came back, broke my hand. Then I came back and pulled my hamstring,” McIver-Brown said. “It’s been a lot of things that have been hard on me mentally, but it helped me grow.”  

McIver-Brown said his mom has been his biggest motivator throughout his academic and athletic career, pushing him to strive for more.  

“My mom is my role model. She worked real hard raising me and my older sister,” McIver-Brown said. “She’d support me through anything as long as I finished my degree. My dad and her have been the same way about me finishing my degree. My mom has always been my biggest role model, she got a master’s degree and so I got to at least match her or come to close to it.” 

McIver-Brown says he has noticed what has evolved on and off the field.  

“Just this last year, since we got a new coach, the mentality and intentionality of a lot of things changed a lot. The culture is definitely changing, where people have more of the athletes supporting each other more,” McIver-Brown said. “We’re more active in the community by doing different projects.” 

As an outgoing senior, McIver-Brown says he has some advice for incoming student-athletes.

“Pay attention to detail, details are huge. Set up a good schedule, no matter how much is piled on you. Pace yourself. It takes some time to get used to, but once you do it’s the easiest process you can do.” 

Esteban Corona is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Esteban Corona
Esteban Corona, Staff Reporter
Esteban Corona, a sophomore pursuing a major/minor in multimedia journalism and painting. Corona is a staff reporter at The Prospector. After graduation, Esteban plans to continue his endeavors in Journalism while pursuing an artistic career.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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    Nikki McIver-BrownMay 1, 2024 at 12:52 AM

    So so proud of you son!! I love you Dresden! 🥰🥰