NORMAN — George Kosanovich has kept in regular touch with Justin Brown since he left Wilmington, Del., for Penn State three years ago.
Kosanovich watched his games in State College, Pa., and Brown has returned to visit his old coach and work out at Concord High.
But, despite a close relationship, Kosanovich respects Brown's private, quiet nature, and that's why he's kept his distance over the past couple of weeks while his former star wideout was deciding to transfer to Oklahoma for his senior season.
“I didn't pressure or ask at all about that,” Kosanovich said. “I figured he had enough people talking to him; I just told him we would do whatever he needed us to do.”
The news broke Saturday night when a source told ESPN.com that Brown had informed Oklahoma coaches of his decision to transfer. But Kosanovich didn't find out until Brown called him Sunday morning.
Brown, who could arrive in Norman as early as Monday, declined an interview request from The Oklahoman on Sunday, writing in a text message, “I honestly don't want to do any interviews ... just trying to be respectful to my teammates. Don't want to bring any more attention to myself than I already have.”
On Twitter, Brown's activity since news broke has mostly been in response to others' reactions.
“Thanks for the support,” he wrote in response to a tweet calling him a “coward.”
He also thanked many other, supportive, Penn State fans who wished him well. One Nittany Lions fan, who sent a negative tweet Saturday, apologized Sunday.
Brown responded, “no hard feelings I understand.”
The newest Sooner seems to be a quiet, humble guy off the field, based on the last few days.
On the field, though, OU is getting a big, physical wideout who has shown, on occasion, the ability to be a playmaker.
Those big-play skills were on display in his last Penn State game. Early in the second quarter of the Nittany Lions' TicketCity Bowl loss to Houston, Brown received a punt inside the 10-yard line, escaped the four Cougars in his vicinity and jumped over another for what was originally called a 92-yard return touchdown before being overturned; it was determined Brown stepped out of bounds.
In the third quarter of the bowl game, Brown ran a post route, caught the ball in stride just over an opponent's outstretched arms and outran the Houston defense for a 69-yard touchdown, his only catch that day.
In a win last season over Purdue, Brown reached out on a deep ball to snag a one-handed catch for a big gain.
Brown's downfield opportunities were limited in the Penn State run-first offense, though; he made four or more receptions in just seven of the 37 games in which he appeared at Penn State.
He eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark only once in his PSU career: a six-reception, 106-yard performance as a sophomore in a home loss to Michigan State.
Despite being the new guy, Brown, who at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds will be OU's biggest wide receiver, will likely get an early shot at playing time due to the relative inexperience of the Sooners' receiving corps. In a pass-oriented offense, Kosanovich said, Brown could flourish.
“I've seen him make so many outstanding catches in high school,” Kosanovich said. “Sliding, reaching back or way over his head. He did that in high school. I know the ball being delivered is a little bit different in college, but I know what he can do with his hands.
“I think he's just going to do an outstanding job down there.”