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Five Things to Know About Oklahoma State QB Transfer Dru Brown



This weekend Oklahoma State added former Hawaii starting quarterback Dru Brown to the mix for 2018 via graduate transfer, giving the Cowboys a much-needed injection of experience to an inexperienced stable of gunslingers for 2018.

Brown could potentially be a nice stopgap between the Mason Rudolph and Spencer Sanders eras, a quality backup, or even a quality starter. In two seasons with the Rainbow Warriors, he threw for 5,273 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading Hawaii to 9 wins during that span.

You may have seen some of his highlights or, if you’re a diehard Rainbow Warriors fan (go Rainbow Warriors!), you perhaps even recognized the name of the team’s two-year starter. But for those who aren’t flush with knowledge of Hawaii football, here’s a refresher on what type of player OSU is getting.

1. Lightly recruited meant JC route

Like current Cowboy Back Sione Finefeuiaki, Brown, a San Mateo, California native, went to College of San Mateo where he spent a season out of high school. Because of his diminutive frame and lower profile in high school, he wasn’t a hot commodity as a two-star prospect.

Coming out of high school he had zero scholarship offers and took the junior college route out of necessity before accepting a scholarship offer, his only offer, to Hawaii after a one-season run in his home city two seasons ago.

2. His game is similar to that of Baker Mayfield

I don’t mean to go en fuego on a hot take here, because to compare the two might be borderline blasphemous. But Brown has a sneaky good game and, like, Baker, is plenty mobile.

Similar to Mayfield however, Brown’s not necessarily a run-first QB. But he has the ability to escape pressure, make throws on the run, and move the chains with his legs when needed. That will allow Cowboy coaches to roll him out, move the pocket, and give defenses unique looks it couldn’t do with Rudolph.

He might also be a first-team all confidence starter like Mayfield, and I kind of dig it.

3. He should be familiar with OSU’s offense

Making the leap from Hawaii to OSU might seem daunting, but the offense he comes from actually has a lot of similar concepts which could usher in a smooth transition.

Hawaii, like OSU and many other programs, ran a lot of Run-Pass-Option (RPO) plays — plays that gave Brown the freedom to decipher if the team would run, if he would pass, or if he would tuck it down himself given what particular look the defense showed.

Hawaii wasn’t strictly RPO — and many times it was more run-heavy than pass-heavy, which led to less-than-flattering stats for Brown — but when they did, Brown looked proficient enough to run an offense at a high level.

4. He’s not very big

ESPN lists Brown at 6-foot, 200-pounds, but even that might be a stretch. His undersized frame is why, despite interest from near and far, no schools took a shot on him out of high school.

“The height definitely scared a lot of people,” Brown said in 2016 when recalling his recruitment. “I wasn’t your prototypical 6-5, 220-pound Greek statue looking QB. I was 5-11 on a good day.”

He overcame his frame by tossing for 1,800 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman at College of San Mateo and was even more productive at the Division I level with more weapons around him.

5. His work ethic stood out to coaches

Coming out of Los Gatos High School under the coaching of Mark Krail, Brown drew high praise as the hardest worker — and best player — on the football team.

“When I coached him it was the best thing in the world because he was our best player clearly, but also our hardest worker,” said Krail. “So when your star is leading the pack in sprints and conditioning and drills, others tend to follow along.”

His QB coach, Adam Tafralis, says his work ethic is what Brown worked on relentlessly to overcome his lack of size and tangible qualities that kept him from being a heavily recruited QB.

“Dru’s a guy that understood that ‘OK I’m not being recruited as high, I’m not doing things coaches might not like, so I’m going to out-work everybody in the process.’

“Dru I don’t think missed one day when I offered to throw in three years,” Tafralis said. “In fact, Dru’s the guy calling me.”

Oklahoma State’s getting an under-the-radar talent in Brown who, when given the opportunity, has shown he can win ball games at the Division I level. And with more combined starts than any of the QBs set to be on the 2018 roster, he’s a nice add who will give OSU another body in what is shaping up to be an intriguing QB competition in the fall with Spencer Sanders, Brown, Taylor Cornelius and Keondre Wudtee.

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