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August 5, 2012
Brown Could be in Norman Any Day Now
On Wednesday evening at OU's Sooner Club caravan stop in Oklahoma City head coach Bob Stoops oozed of confidence as he spoke to the over flow crowd of Sooner supporters.
"We'll be better than you think- believe me- at receiver. Everybody just relax. We've got to go out and coach them, we'll be OK," said Stoops during the Q-and-A portion of the program.
Today the Sooners head coach added a notch to his belt of confidence in way of Penn State transfer Justin Brown who confirmed to SoonerScoop.com that he would be arriving in Norman in the near future - quite possibly within the next 24 hours.
"I'm not sure, probably tomorrow," Brown said Sunday afternoon in regard to his expected arrival time in Norman.
Brown, who will be immediately eligible, heads to Norman following a junior season in which he grabbed 35 passes for 517 yards and two touchdowns for the Nittany Lions.
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound pass catcher's decision to transfer comes after days of speculation that started on Aug. 31 when SoonerScoop.com's Josh McCuistion contacted the former Rivals.com 4-star prospect on his desire to leave the a Penn State program that continues to rebuild in wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal that rocked collegiate athletics.
"They've been in contact," Brown confirmed through text message. "Not that much contact. They've backed off."
Just two days later on Aug. 2 ESPN.com's Joe Schad reported the interest from Oklahoma had once again picked up steam and a scholarship offer had been extended towards the Wilmington (Del.) native.
Brown leaves Penn State with 1, 047 career receiving yards which is good enough to place him No. 20 all-time while also boasting the title of being the only Nittany Lion receiver to have recorded a reception in every game a season ago.
His addition to the Oklahoma roster comes less than a week after SoonerScoop.com reported 4-star JUCO wide receiver Courtney Gardner had failed to qualify leaving a scholarship to be had amongst a receiving corps. that returns junior Kenny Stills as the lone receiver to have made a reception in a collegiate game.
Stills, a 2011 All-Big 12 selection by the leagues coaches, returns after catching 61 passes for 849 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011 while junior Jaz Reynolds stays relegated to the practice field after being reinstated on Aug. 1 by Stoops following a summer long suspension.
Stoops informed the media on Saturday's media day that Jackson had been dismissed from the team while Reynolds, Franks, and Hayes are still facing a suspension of 'multiple, multiple games' as noted by Stoops Wednesday evening.
Throughout the process it has been Brown's punt returning ability that has made the most waves throughout the interwebs for social media savvy Sooners fans.
A glimpse of hope for fans who look to replace the departed Ryan Broyles who held most of the punt returning duties the last few season.
Leading Penn State a season ago Brown returned 27 punts for 220 yards while turning in a mouth dropping 93-yard punt return for a touchdown versus Houston in the TicketCity Bowl even though the return would be called back.
What to expect?
Now that the rumors have turned into fact the next question that most will inquire comes along the lines of: what can Brown do for Oklahoma in 2012?
Combining the aforementioned suspensions as well as the new unknown and unproven freshmen on the Sooner campus it's believed that Brown could step in place and catch the balls heralded recruit Courtney Gardner would have snagged.
BlueWhiteIllustrated.com Editor Nate Bauer joined SoonerScoop Publisher Carey Murdock Thursday afternoon on Scoop Radio prior to the transfer becoming official and offered his opinion on Brown.
A player he has covered for three plus years during his time in Happy Valley and as a high school prospect.
"He's a kid who is obviously very athletic at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds. He's a prototypical wide out that you can just drop back and throw it up to and hope that he comes down with it," said Bauer. "And most of the time he will."
Perhaps the most glowing feature that Brown brings with him to Norman is a work ethic and character that most had thought to be lost during the last few years around the Oklahoma locker room.
"He's really got this work horse mentality. He wants to the ball thrown to him but he's quiet. He's not a liability in the locker room by any means. He's actually a team player so he does a lot for your program."
A third-team preseason All-Big Ten selection by Phil Steele's College Football Preview Brown is described in the Penn State media guide as 'the Nittany Lions most experienced wideout'.
A title that Bauer wholeheartedly agrees with.
"At Penn State this season (he) is the guy who 'is the guy' you know? He is the receiver at Penn State," said Bauer. "Nobody for a second would question he's the best receiver at Penn State and you know I think that's important to note."
Though as with any prospect or player there's room for improvement if Brown hopes to be Landry Jones 'go to' third down and long receiver in 2012.
"I'm not sure at other programs he would be seen in the same light. He's not a superstar. (But) he's a kid who has some talent and has an opportunity to be a good receiver."
"His hands are a question mark he's dropped a bunch of balls to be totally honest with you."
"If it's a move for him to make it on the next level and get on a championship (caliber) team and get on a team to that kind of raises his stock on the level that he wants to be an NFL receiver then he's got to pick up his game personally. It doesn't matter what quarterback has thrown the ball."
Luckily for Oklahoma fans that quarterback will be the school's all-time passing leader in Jones.
A gamble with house money for Stoops and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell.
A gamble that looks to be well worth the risk.