Justin Brown adds depth to OU wideouts

Justin Brown's decision to become a Sooner appears to be a no-brainer for both parties.

Oklahoma needs to add depth at the receiver position and transferring from Penn State to OU will allow Brown to catch more passes and compete for a national championship berth during his short stay in Norman.

At 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, Brown brings great size to the Sooners' receiving corps. But he also immediately becomes one of the best playmakers with the ball in his hands. His open-field ability will give offensive coordinator Josh Heupel expanded options.

When Brown is on the field alongside Kenny Stills and Trey Metoyer, the Sooners will be able to create size mismatches on the perimeter while forcing teams to utilize defenders with quality cover skills or risk giving up an easy touchdown.

Most importantly, the Sooners, in a matter of days, have gone from minimal depth to featuring multiple options at receiver in 2012. On Monday, OU had seven scholarship receivers. As fall camp opens, they have 10 scholarship receivers, including transfer Jalen Saunders, who is likely to sit out this season but has filed an appeal to play right away.

Juniors Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks are cleared to practice and could return to the field at some point this season. Junior college transfer LaColtan Bester is on campus and ready to go. The trio joins Stills and Saunders to give OU five upperclassmen at the position. Now the Sooners are at six with Brown.

Before this week, the meeting room for Jay Norvell, OU’s receivers coach, held Stills and a bunch of inexperienced newcomers. With Reynolds, Franks and Brown added to the room, there’s plenty of game experience at Norvell’s disposal.

In addition, Brown’s arrival softens the spotlight on incoming freshman receivers Sterling Shepard, Durron Neal and Derrick Woods. Shepard has already made an impression on his teammates during summer workouts and could be poised to play as a freshman; Neal stepped on campus as one of the nation’s top prep receivers; and Woods is raw but talented.

Now all three freshmen will have more time to adjust to the physical demands of playing receiver at OU, even if they don’t necessarily need it.