Over the summer, Buckeye Empire will be bringing you an in-depth position by position breakdown and highlight the young men that will be pursuing perfection and the hopes and dreams of hoisting the crystal ball in Pasadena this coming January. We continue our series with the Safeties and 5th year Senior Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown.
When a 5-star recruit comes your way, you expect only to be wowed and amazed at their immediate impact on your team. However, it doesn’t always click for that student athlete. Sometimes it never clicks. In the case of Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown, we get one out of two.
Despite not contributing right away and red-shirting as a Freshman, Brown has come on this spring as a Senior. Due to the influx of young talent coming in, and the change of the guard in coaching since he arrived, Brown has surely been reminded of his need to improve. And it was specifically Coach Withers who was noted for reminding Brown that he had to improve fast if he wanted to see any field time. Since then, Brown had two choices. Ride out his time, or set his mind to working to reach his potential.
Lately, it seems that Brown has taken the latter and taken his role seriously to ensure that he puts his mind to actually contributing. It’s good to hear he hasn’t given up, and even Coach Meyer has taken notice. He has been quoted as saying that he expects Brown to compete for a leadership role this season.
Brown had 17 total tackles last season, with 7 being of the solo variety. However, that was 7th among defensive backs on the Ohio State roster. And, with the intrusion of the “young Buck” likes of Vonn Bell, Eli Apple, Devan Bogard and Armani Reeves, that makes for a VERY crowded backfield. It seems it is time for the 5th year Senior to either make an impact now or simply pave the way for the younger guys to perform.
At present, Brown may be suited to play the “star” position that Meyer, and Tressel before him, has spotlighted so heavily. However, that may be as a backup. One thing working in Brown’s favor is that this staff seems to be leaning toward using the Nickel package on defense more frequently, something that was showcased in the spring game in Cincinnati this year. That will allow for five defensive backs on the field at a time instead of the standard four. In essence, allowing for one more shot at starting for Brown.
To be fair, Brown’s progress has been slowed due to a nagging knee injury he suffered during the season back in 2010. He’s been on the road to recovery ever since. Last spring and fall it seemed that he was steadily improving, but not up to par with what the coaches expected. This spring has been different. This spring has been his redemption, or so it seems. As stated earlier, Coach Meyer expects a lot from him and Corey doesn’t have the benefit of time on his side any longer.
So it’s now or never for Corey. Will he become what we all expected from a 5-star four years ago? Only time will tell, but motivation will not be a problem. Not only does he have the master of motivation as his head coach, he has a safeties coach in Everett Whithers that may very well be a head coach himself soon. Add to that a stable of young guys just aching to pass him and it’s safe to say that everyone that follows the team by the Olentangy will be watching this battle as it wages through the summer and into the fall. With the knee healthy, and a full year under Meyer’s system, the stage seems set for Brown to break out in 2013. Will he walk up to that stage and seize his opportunity? We’ll see, but he’s certainly stepped up in practice and turned some heads in Columbus this spring.
We’ve seen one Corey Brown become a superstar in the Buckeye uniform. It just might be time for another to arrive.