Oklahoma football: Wide receiver Justin Brown might be a game-breaker as a punt returner

The Penn State transfer averaged 7.0 yards on 42 returns over the last three seasons.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Modified: August 30, 2012 at 8:20 am •  Published: August 29, 2012

There's some reason to believe he could do more than just help out.

When word surfaced last month that Brown was considering a transfer to Oklahoma, hits soared on a YouTube video of his 93-yard punt return for a touchdown against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl. The video ends without mention of this: officials ruled Brown had stepped out of bounds, shortening the return to 26 yards.

“Almost,” Brown said. “Definitely learned from that. Hopefully I don't run that close to the sideline when we get in that situation again.”

Brown's 69-yard touchdown reception and that return were about the only bright spots that day in Penn State's 30-14 loss to Houston — Brown's last game in a Nittany Lions uniform.

Still, his career-long was a 33-yarder in Penn State's regular-season finale against Wisconsin, so the Sooners search for a game-breaking returner continues.

But Brown's size — 6-foot-3, 209 pounds — can be a plus in returning punts.

“When you can bring a guy in that can play receiver and can punt return at that size, it's kind of unusual,” said Jay Norvell, OU's co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach. “He's definitely a sure-handed guy and a guy that's played in a lot of situations and it's just good to have that on your team.

“He gives everybody else confidence, and as a coaching staff, we feel good about it because he's been in those situations before, he's not brand new.”

by Stephanie Kuzydym
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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