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100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 6 Keenen Brown



At No. 6 on our countdown, let’s look at a fourth-year junior who’s transformed his body and could be a sneaky pick for Most Improved Cowboy in 2017.

How he got to OSU

Brown took his first step on campus as a 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver specimen. Pretty normal. OSU’s had plenty of those. But it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Brown.

The four-star prospect from Alief Taylor (Houston, Texas) — ranked as the No. 4o wide receiver by 247 Sports — had to turn down scholarships from Oklahoma, Florida, LSU, Oregon and 15 other Division I schools to make a home in Stillwater, America. That’s not easy to do.

What he’s done in Stillwater

It’s also not easy to be sidelined the first two seasons of your career — one  for redshirt purposes and the other due to a foot injury. But after getting healthy and building his body up by 40 pounds, Brown no longer looked like the his receiver counterparts.

Prior to 2016 and after weighing in at 250 pounds, Brown was a perfect fit for Oklahoma State’s hybrid tight end/H-back position. In 2016 he saw sparing reps behind the CW poster children Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch but now they’re both gone.

After a year in the Cowboy Back room, Brown looks ready for a featured role but the transition hasn’t been easy. His position coach, Jason McEndoo talked about the physical challenge of moving from wide receiver to Cowboy Back.

“People don’t understand [how hard it is],” McEndoo told PFB. “To put this in context, making the transition, what he has done, from Z receiver to tight end, that’s like taking a kid that plays corner and turning him into a defensive end. That’s a different world inside the tackle box. That’s big-boy land. That’s a different lifestyle.”

Brown also talked about how much of a challenge it was, but thought the mental part was even more taxing.

“It’s a big adjustment mentally because you’ve got to learn the defensive line, the linebackers,” Brown told PFB. “At receiver, all I had to do was learn the coverage and maybe what technique the corner’s playing. At Cowboy Back, I’ve got to know the whole D-Line, the linebackers and I’ve still got to know the coverages. Mentally, you’ve got to be prepared to work out there.”

Role in 2017

With Blake Jarwin trying to earn a spot in Big D, Brown now has the opening he’s been waiting for. He’s got the size, the athleticism and the ball skills to really shine from that tight end role.

“He’s been great,” said McEndoo. “He wants to be good. He works at it. You know his strengths. He’s explosive. He’s fast. He can come across the middle. I mean, he’s not a small dude.”

Let’s not forget or play down the reason Brown was recruited to OSU. He’s still one of the highest-rated wide receiver prospects on OSU’s roster. Think about that for a minute. And though the sample size is extremely small, he’s been as effective as possible in passing opportunities. Brown’s been targeted twice in college and he’s turned it into two catches 47 yards.

Does that mean he’ll be an all-conference selection? Not necessarily and his reps will be limited to how well he can pass protect and how much OSU uses the role with the plethora of wide receivers needing catches. But he’s got the athleticism and playmaking ability to be an X-factor on an already potent offense.

According to the projected depth chart for Week 1, Brown is slated behind Britton Abbott and Sione Finefeuiaki at Cowboy Back.

Noteworthy stats and highlights

Here’s a look at that 38-yard catch against UT last year.


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