STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 15: Justin Brown #19 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after making a one handed catch against the Purdue Boilermakers during the game on October 15, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. The Nittany Lions defeated the Boilermakers 23-18. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
This may or may not apply to you, but based on some of the things I've seen/heard since the news of Penn State wide receiver Justin Brown's transfer to Oklahoma became official I felt it necessary. Just to be clear, right up front, this is in no way meant to disparage Brown as a player or person. In fact, after way too much of the things I've seen written and/or said to/about this young man following the news of his decision to transfer, he will immediately and significantly increase the level of character on this football team. And that is not a knock on the character within this OU team, but much more a credit to Justin Brown.
Back to my original point though. By all accounts, from everything that I have been able to read, and from the video I've been able to watch on him Brown appears to be a very capable player. He has pretty good speed, a big frame, decent hands, and could make an impact on special teams.
Notice in all of those qualities you did not read "elite" or "game changer" or really anything of the sort. Again, that's not a knock on Brown but I feel it's important to point them out. Some may call that harsh, but as I alluded to in the title in my mind it's much more about managing expectations.
To be fair to Brown, he wasn't exactly playing in a dynamic passing offense for the last three years. So would it be fair to assume that once he finds a role in this Oklahoma offense that he could be some and/or all of those things above? I'd say that's pretty fair.
However, at this point (before the guy even arrives on campus) it's probably not fair to place those expectations on a guy who will be learning a brand new playbook let alone making the difficult transition to a new school and all that comes with it. I'm simply saying, those of you out there writing him in as a starter, or even immediate contributor, might want to do so with pencil rather than pen.
I think what is much more realistic is Norvell, Heupel, and company (at least initially) give him a specific package of plays/routes for him to learn. As the season progresses, depending of course on how well he picks things up, that package of plays could very easily could expand as could his role within the offense.
And if that is where your head is at this, then clearly this does not apply to you. But if you're one of those people who is expecting this guy to come to a brand new setting, with a brand new scheme, to a brand new team already several practices into their preparation for the upcoming season then I'm afraid you are setting yourself up for a considerable disappointment.
Again, to be clear, very happy to have Justin Brown joining this team but don't go rip this kid if after the first couple games he's not terrorizing opposing secondaries.