Now with two pairs of high school teammates committed, the Oklahoma State Cowboys recruiting class got significantly better on Sunday with the pledges of Houston (Texas) Taylor stars Chris Hardeman and Keenen Brown.
A 6'3, 205-pound wide receiver, Brown is a consensus four-star prospect rated as the No. 37 wide receiver nationally and the No. 31 player in the state of Texas, rankings that are good enough to place him as the No. 250 player nationally. Thought to be a heavy Oklahoma lean in the 247Sports Crystal Ball (four of five predictions), Brown's commitment to the Cowboys was something of a surprise.
Brown held about 20 offers prior to his pledge, including invitations to play at Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Oregon, Ole Miss, and Wisconsin, among many others.
Here's the scouting report on Brown:
A prospect who stands out in combine environments because of his size and projectable frame, Brown's 247Sports profile lists his 40 speed at 4.50, though it's hard to back up because it does not appear that Brown tested at the Dallas NFTC. Where many wide receivers of Brown's height earn the fluid label, he's not as smooth as some others, though he does have the size to body up opposing wide receivers.
A good athlete if not a great one, Brown has some ball skills, especially across the middle, one of the areas of the field where he is most effective working because of his size and ability to extend outside of his body to make catches, where he shows good hands. His toughness and willingness to take hits make him a strong possession receiver candidate both over the middle and on stop routes, hitches, and slants where he can use his big body to keep defenders from making plays on the football.
In college, Brown may not have the straight-line speed to get open deep consistently, especially since routes that require precision are not his strength, though he can stem and weave defenders on post routes at times. The best hope for him as a college deep threat is that his overall size, leaping ability, and ball skills to find and track the football are better than smaller defensive backs. His strong hands are also an asset, as he can make difficult catches, including those he has to snag with one hand.
After the catch, Brown isn't a dynamic athlete in terms of his lateral quickness or shake, but he maintains the same big, strong, physical presence with the ball in his hands as he does when fighting for position or high-pointing the football, so he does have some upside there as he continues to get stronger since he can already run through arm tackles from weaker defenders.
With his strong hands and big body, Brown projects as a strong possession receiver in college with the ability to occasionally provide some downfield ability because of his ball skills. As a result, he should emerge as a solid if mostly unspectacular contributor at the next level -- and that's not a slight to Brown's skillset at all.
Brown is now the fourth-best recruit in an Oklahoma State recruiting class that has moved up to No. 26 nationally and third in the Big 12 with the commitments of Brown and Hardeman. One of three wide receivers currently committed in the class, Brown is also the highest-rated of those pledges.