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Marquise Brown Q&A
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Speedy OU Receiver Talks About 2018 Season
When Marquise Brown decided to transfer to Oklahoma prior to the 2017 season, then-offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley was hoping the speedster from Hollywood, Fla., might help fill the void left by the departure of All-American receiver Dede Westbrook to the NFL.
OU's first-ever Biletnikoff Award winner in 2016, Westbrook had finished off his collegiate career by hauling in a school-record 17 touchdown passes while leading all Power Five receivers with 1,524 yards.
A few months later, he was taken in the fourth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That meant the Sooners were looking for a young receiver to emerge as a go-to type target for Baker Mayfield last season. And while both CeeDee Lamb and tight end Mark Andrews were incredibly valuable in their pass catching roles -- combining for 108 catches, 1,765 yards and 15 TDs, no one provided the big-play impact that Brown did.
Despite his diminutive stature (5-foot-10, 165 pounds), Brown finished his first OU season with a team-high 1,095 receiving yards and a 19.2 yards per catch average that ranked 18th nationally. He developed into the Sooners' deep-threat receiver and a guy who Mayfield continually counted on in key moments.
In OU's 62-52 Bedlam road win over OSU last November, Brown caught nine passes for a school-record 265 yards that included two touchdowns. But there has been plenty more where that came from.
Through the first 10 games this season, the sure-handed junior led the team with 53 catches for 956 yards and eight TDs, numbers that earned him a spot on the list of semifinalists for the 2018 Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation's top receiver.
Sooner Spectator caught up with Brown for a few minutes recently to get his thoughts on the 2018 Sooners and his performance this season.
Sooner Spectator: How much fun are you having with QB Kyler Murray and this offense this season?
Marquise Brown: Oh man, it's been so much fun. I'm having a blast getting to do what I do, but it's almost as much fun for me getting to watch all of the players around me do so many amazing things with our offense -- running the ball, catching, blocking for each other and celebrating together. It's hard to describe. And Kyler has been amazing with all that he does for us.
SS: Does having players like CeeDee Lamb, Grant Calcaterra, Myles Tease, Lee Morris and Nick Basquine make your job easier?
Brown: Yes, most definitely. We are all very competitive, so we push each other every day in practice to get better. Once we are on the field and we see someone make a great catch or a big play, it just inspires you to want to step up and do something to help the team any way you can. All of the guys in that room are very close and cheer for each other, but I feel it's the same with everyone on this team.
SS: What was it like playing with Baker last season, and the energy and excitement he brought to the program?
Brown: It was a blast. Baker made playing the game that much more fun with the fire and passion that he plays with, and the leadership he brings to his teammates. I tried to learn as much as I could by just watching him and following his lead on so many things. That season I got to play with him definitely made me a much better player going into this year.
SS: What element or asset do you feel you bring to the field that has contributed the most to your success?
Brown: I'd have to say my attitude, just the way I come to practice with a purpose every single day -- and that is to get better. If I see something I need to work on or one of my coaches sees something, that's what I'm going to do. I'll stay late and work on it until I get it worked out. Talent can only take you so far, so I know that you have to outwork everyone to be successful at this level. It's just part of the deal.
SS: Do you have a favorite OU moment to this point, something that stands out in your mind?
Brown: Wow, there are a bunch. But I'd probably have to say last season when I dove for that pass against TCU (a 40-yard gain) and came up with it. That's definitely a favorite moment, for sure. But I'm looking forward to creating more of those here in the future.
SS: Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions that you go through to get ready to play?
Brown: Honestly, no. Besides praying. I feel like once I pray, I’m ready for pretty much anything.
SS: How does it feel being recognized with all of the other great receivers as a Biletnikoff semifinalist?
Brown: It's cool to be recognized like that. It's an honor. But honestly, I believe CeeDee (Lamb) should be on that list as well. That kind of had me being a little salty, because if you watch him play, you know he's one of the best.
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