Brodrick Brown goes from ESPY Nomination to NFL Draft Hopeful

CARSON, CALIF.,— If you’re a fan of college football, chances are pretty good you know Brodrick Brown. Granted, you might know his name, but if you watch this sport- even just a little- then you’ve seen his game on full display.

Brown was part of four nine-win teams over his five seasons at Oklahoma State, with his final year of eligibility ending this past New Year’s Day in a Heart of Texas Bowl win over Purdue. However, despite all the games played, accolades and victories he accumulated in a Cowboy uniform, Brown will forever be linked to a single play, which took place during the 2010 season against rival Oklahoma.  

The play came in the middle of the second quarter with Oklahoma ahead 21-10, and looking to pull away in that year’s edition of the “Bedlam” series. On first down, Sooners quarterback Landry Jones rolled out to his right and tried to throw the ball out of bounds…but Brown had different ideas.

Knowing he didn’t have room to make the interception and keep his feet in-bounds, Brown leaped horizontally, before tipping the pass to linebacker Sean Lewis for an interception, in what was truly one of the freakish displays of athleticism you’ll ever see on a football field. The play ended up as one of the signature moments of the entire 2010 college football season and earned Brown an ESPY nomination and a “Herbie” award from ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit.

The play also led to hundreds of questions from fans across the country, questions that continue today, more than two years after it actually happened.  

“Oh man, I get asked about that play allllll the time,” Brown said on Thursday, following practice for this weekend’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. The event, held in Carson, Calif. is a showcase for draft eligible college seniors who are in town hoping to impress NFL scouts and front office personnel.

“Coach says ‘Be a guy to step up and make a play,’” Brown added. “It was a big-time ball-game and it was a big-time play. I was just thankful to be in the right spot.”

And while that play was likely the signature moment of Brown’s career in Stillwater, it was hardly the only highlight. Brown was named to the All-Big XII first team as a junior in 2011 and was also a second team All-American selection on Most importantly, he was part of the revitalization of an Oklahoma State program that won seven games the year before he arrived, but proceeded to win a total of 49 games in his five seasons at the school, including 12 in his junior year.  

“Just being a part of that legacy and seeing the guys who’ve gone onto the NFL,” Brown said. “Guys like Russell Okung, Kendall Hunter, Perrish Cox, Jacoby Lacey, all those guys… Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon. Being a part of that is a great feeling and an honor.”

Yet despite all talent on Oklahoma State’s roster, nothing prepared Brown for his professional future quite like the competition Oklahoma State faced on a night-in, night out basis in the Big XII. Playing cornerback in a conference known for its passing offenses, Brown literally matched up against an NFL quarterback just about every time he took the field in a Pokes uniform.

“That’s basically all it is, a pass conference,” Brown said. “Going up against those guys- Geno Smith, Landry Jones, Robert Griffin, even Andrew Luck in the Fiesta Bowl- those guys are top notch guys.”

Not to mention, that it probably didn’t hurt going up against an NFL quarterback every day in practice for two years too. Incredibly, when Brown was asked who the toughest quarterback he ever matched up against, he was quick to say former Oklahoma State teammate Brandon Weeden.

“In practice, he could put the ball on point,” Brown said. “He could make every throw on the field.”

Regardless, all that prep has made Brown an intriguing NFL Draft prospect headed into this weekend’s NFLPA Bowl. Measuring at 5’9 and 183 lbs., Brown isn’t the biggest or strongest cornerback in this game, or on most team’s draft boards. Still, it’s hard to find many defensive backs anywhere, with more quality on the field experience than the 22-year-old Brown does.

“I’m the type of guy that always plays with a chip on his shoulder, Brown said. “I might not be the biggest, the strongest or fastest guy out there, but I’m going to get it done when the time is needed.”

If you don’t believe Brown on the last part, he’s got the video- and Herbie award- to prove it.

For all his insight, analysis and articles on college football, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.