What initially looked to be just a harmless unofficial visit turned into a life-changing weekend for…
Brown Brings a Playmaker to the Shoe
At first, Brown was being looked at as a pure running back, but after seeing him in action we decided to project him as a wide receiver because of his skill set. Brown has told me that he would like to play a role similar to Percy Harvin in the Buckeye offense and that's something he could certainly do. He's the type of player that can come out of the slot and run jet sweep, line up in the backfield and play straight up running back or split out wide and be a very legitimate threat as a wide receiver. Last season Cardinal O'Hara had an offensive coordinator running a pro-style offense and Brown was very productive in it until he injured his knee, however this season the Lions will be moving back to a more conventional Wing-T offense under Head Coach Dan Algeo.
If you haven't seen a lot of Brown and are looking for something to compare him to, watch how the New Orleans Saints use Reggie Bush. I'm not comparing Brown to Bush, but their skill sets definitely lend to some of the same play calling. Brown isn't a great runner between the tackles and likes to kick the ball outside where he can get in space to use his speed and athleticism to make people miss and make big plays. He can be absolutely devastating when running off-tackle with solid blocking and is always a threat to take it to the house. As a receiver, Brown is already very polished in terms of hands and catching the ball at its highest point. If he's going to strictly play wide receiver he'll need to take some time getting used to the complete passing tree, but in the Buckeye offense he'd most likely play where Ted Ginn did.
I saw Brown live in practice just a few weeks ago and he did look a bit stiff when cutting, however it was simply because his new knee brace was bothering him. Once that went away, so did the stiffness. This season it looks like he's going to be lining up as a wingback more than the primary running back, so he should see his share of catches and off-tackle runs.
I expect Brown to be a player that is dangerous as a runner and a receiver in college. I would be very surprised if he ends up as a pure wide receiver given his versatility and playmaking ability. The Big Ten is not full of speedy defensive players and Brown should be able to take full advantage of that with his 4.45 pace.
Just a note: Without having ever run track before, Brown placed 3rd in the state of Pennsylvania this past season in the 100-meter dash, drawing rave reviews from other track guys like Penn State commitment Alex Kenney.
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