Penn State Football: Justin Brown Looking to Step Up in Final Season
Standing in front of a throng of media members, senior wide receiver Justin Brown quietly answered questions Friday afternoon.
Even though Brown is unlike predecessor Derek Moye, whose boyish features and outgoing personality made him a fan favorite, Brown’s quiet nature isn’t holding him back.
“I’m working hard, watching a lot of film, and doing everything I can to be a better receiver,” Brown said. “Derek showed me how to do that while he was here and I just want to take that and improve my game.
“As far as the coaches, Coach Hixon is a great guy, and I’ve just tried to pick the coaches' brains with all of their experience. I’m trying to take everything they say and practice it and do it to the best of my ability.”
Heading into his senior season, Brown has quietly put together a solid resume despite never being the top receiving target. His 35 receptions for 517 yards last season was a career high and second on the team.
While Brown struggled with dropped passes last season, an issue that those around the program say he has cured this spring, a new and creative attack this season should mean even more balls sent his way.
“When I first got the playbook, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to comprehend it,” Brown said. “The past playbook was kind of simple. This one’s a lot more creative. In the end, though, football is football. I can’t go into it too much but it’s going to be exciting to see what we can do out of it.”
Brown will have to learn the ins and outs of Bill O’Brien’s offense quickly though, as he will be the only wideout with serious in-game experience. Receivers Alex Kenney, Shawney Kersey and Brandon Moseby-Felder will join Brown with only 13 combined receptions.
Even with the inexperience at his position, Brown feels that his unit has made great strides this spring.
“When we started out, everybody was running around like a chicken with their head cut off,” Brown said. “But now we’re just focusing on the paying attention to the little details. Normally spring ball is more just for the younger guys to learn the system, but we’re all learning something new this year and I think it’s going well.”
With only a week remaining before the Blue-White Game, Brown says he’s just excited to get in front of a crowd before heading into the summer.
“Everybody is excited," he said. "We’re excited to get in front of everybody and show them what our hard work has done in the spring.”