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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Tre Brown declares for 2021 NFL Draft, opts out of Cotton Bowl

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Tre Brown has provided plenty of memorable moments during his time in Norman.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Oklahoma at Iowa State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Tre Brown once again played the role of the hero in the Big 12 Championship game, and this time it served as his collegiate swan song. On Monday, the senior cornerback from Tulsa, Oklahoma announced that he would forgo the Cotton Bowl and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

In 51 games and 33 starts for the Sooners, the Tulsa Union product intercepted four passes and recorded 35 pass defenses, but his legacy as a Sooner will always be associated with what he did in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Big 12 Championship games.

Trailing by three in the fourth quarter of 2018’s rematch with Texas, Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns were deep in their own territory a looking to drive it down the field. Brown would be having none of that, as he came in on a corner blitz and struck Ehlinger before he knew what was coming. This would completely swing the momentum, and it instantly wnet down as one of the most memorable moments in the history of the rivalry.

2019’s game in Arlington would bring us one of the more notable displays of pure effort (and speed!) that OU fans had witnessed in quite some time. With OU once again leading by three late in the fourth quarter, Baylor QB Jacob Zeno hit Chris Platt, who would race past Patrick Fields and be well on his way to a game-winning touchdown. Unfortunately for Platt, Brown was just a hair faster, and his effort would allow OU to hold the Bears to a field goal.

The final play of his collegiate career would prove to be one of the most noteworthy, as OU needed his knack for playmaking then as much as ever. Down 27-21, the Iowa State Cyclones seemed destined to take the lead for good, but Nik Bonitto and Co. had other plans. Their pressure of Brock Purdy forced a poor decision, and Brown would take full advantage.

The final play would be symbolic of Brown’s vindication, as OU fans were ready to have him benched following a poor performance in 2020’s first game against the ‘Clones. From that point on, Brown was nothing if not solid, and he definitely improved his chances of playing on Sundays. Speaking of which, he also accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl over the weekend.

As far as the Cotton Bowl against Florida is concerned, Oklahoma has been fortunate to gain valuable contributions from young corners Woodi Washington and DJ Graham, who have given OU fans even more hope of an especially bright defensive future. Add in the experience of Jaden Davis, and it’s safe to say that OU will likely be fine at the position. Having said that, they’ll be going up against some great receivers, so they’ll have their work cut out for them.