Ohio State's Brown becoming a complete receiver

Ohio State's Corey Brown outruns Iowa defenders to score a 58-yard touchdown on a pass from Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes came back Saturday to win, 34-24.
Ohio State's Corey Brown outruns Iowa defenders to score a 58-yard touchdown on a pass from Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes came back Saturday to win, 34-24. (JAY LaPRETE / AP)
Posted: October 25, 2013

Corey Brown is the top wide receiver on an Ohio State team that is ranked No. 4 in the country and has won 19 straight games, the longest current streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but all anyone wants to ask him about this week is "The Block."

You might have seen Carlos Hyde's 19-yard touchdown run a few days ago in the Buckeyes' win over Iowa where he was knocked back a few yards but kept his feet. However, you may have not recognized the teammate who cleared away the final yards with a block on Hawkeyes linebacker James Morris.

It was Brown, the 6-foot, 190-pound senior by way of Upper Darby and Cardinal O'Hara High School.

"He got the first down so I started jumping up and down initially figuring he'd fall to the ground," Brown said. "When he didn't, it kind of caught me off guard. So I did a quick twist and jumped out in front of him like I was the lead blocker and just threw my body into somebody.

"Blocking is a big part of playing wideout. I pride myself on being a complete receiver."

"The Block" illustrates the increased role Brown has assumed on and off the field this season with the Buckeyes, who host Penn State on Saturday night, and what coach Urban Meyer means when he says Brown has performed "a 180 to where he was" last season.

"He's an absolute leader of this team, unchallenged, unquestionable," Meyer said earlier this week. "If you said that a year ago, we would have gotten into an argument because that's not who he was. His development as a person, a player, as a student, I couldn't say enough."

Brown, whom everyone on the team calls "Philly" because there are two Corey Browns on the roster, said it's a matter of maturing and having played one season in Meyer's system, learning what the coach wants from his players.

"It's not hard," he said. "I've been a natural leader all my life, a guy who's always attracting people right to me. Last year it was a little more difficult just basically trying to earn respect from peers. But I earned a lot of respect from everybody."

Brown's leadership extends to a youthful corps of wide receivers. He tops the group with 33 receptions for 453 yards and six touchdowns. He attributes the Buckeyes' proficiency in the passing game to working with quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton all summer.

"It was ridiculous how many hours we put in with all the wideouts and with Braxton and Kenny throwing," he said. "Seeing it all pay off is a blessing."

Brown isn't making too much of Ohio State's next opponent even if it is Penn State, a school that "I never really looked at too much," he said. The Buckeyes, who finished unbeaten in 2012 but could not play in the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, are determined to stay the same course and get a shot this time at the BCS national championship game.

"Everybody here is so hungry," he said. "Everybody here refuses to lose. We don't like losing. Losing is not something that goes on around here anymore. We're used to winning and we like it."


jjuliano@phillynews.com

@joejulesinq

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