No one could blame Penn State players who wanted to leave when news broke about the NCAA’s harsh sanctions against Bill O’Brien and the football program for sins by former coaches and administrative officials. It was either stay, and play for a new coach they had no relationship for during a season with little more to play for than pride and their professional future. Or leave, and have a shot to compete for a conference and national title, elsewhere.
Eight players chose to transfer from Penn State and finish their collegiate career playing football in a stadium other than Happy Valley. The decision was far from easy for wide receiver Justin Brown, but in the end he felt his best chance to compete for his future was no longer in Pennsylvania.
It says a lot about a man’s character by how he reacts to adverse situations. Instead of doing like many NCAA coaches do and leaving in the middle of the night for a new school, Justin went to all of his teammates for their blessing before making the final decision.
Now an Oklahoma Sooner, Justin Brown steps right into a receiving corps hurting for a playmaker after last year’s graduations. He will most likely play as the Sooners’ third receiver and start at kickoff and punt-return.
Instead of breaking all relationships with Penn State, Justin proudly shares that his credits in Norman will transfer back to his former school, allowing him to graduate a Nittany Lion in January. That is something Justin really wanted to do despite leaving for his best on-field opportunity.
Justin’s best opportunity to compete now stands 1,400 miles from where he thought it’d be. A fresh start and the chance to play for the NFL is driving Justin to compete every day. It will be interesting to see if the new scenery propels this young man into the NFL.