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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 Staff Writer 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.”