Ohio State has starting targeting more players from the state of New Jersey since Urban Meyer took the reigns of the football program a couple of years ago. Meyer and company signed a couple of players from the state in the 2014 class and one of them came in the form of Sparta (NJ) Pope John XXIII wide receiver/athlete Noah Brown, who was the only player to commit to the Buckeyes during the 2013 regular season.
Take a trip down memory lane and find out what kind of early impact he could have for the Buckeyes, as we bring you "Bucks to the Future", the Noah Brown story.
Weight: 212 pounds
247Sports Composite: Number five athlete, fifth best player in the state of New Jersey, and 196th overall player in the 2014 recruiting class.
High School: Pope John XXIII High School, Sparta, New Jersey
Brown's recruitment got started a little later than some high profile recruits after a strong junior season, where he rushed for 847 yards and 48 touchdowns and caught 41 passes for 640 yards, to go along with six scores. Scholarship offers started piling up in March of 2013 when he received his first offers from the likes of Rutgers, Nebraska, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Michigan State.
His recruitment didn't slow down one bit during April and May, where he added quite a few more offers from top FBS programs, like Ohio State, Penn State, South Florida, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Missouri. Then at the beginning of June he scored scholarship offers from Vanderbilt and USC.
When summer rolled, around Brown got the opportunity to make his first ever trip to Columbus to see what Ohio State had to offer. He was in town near the end of July, right around Ohio State's Friday Night Lights camp was set to take place. His visit to Ohio State went very, very well and the Buckeyes were considered the team to beat in his recruitment following the visit.
There was still in time left in his recruitment though, as he made a visit to Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights, the Buckeyes, and Virginia Tech Hokies were considered to be his final of three of sorts, though the decision would eventually come down to Ohio State and Rutgers. Following his unofficial visit to Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights became the "trending" team in his recruitment, though he still hadn't committed anywhere.
Towards the beginning of the 2013 football season, the standout athlete neared a college decision. He scheduled an official visit to Columbus for the weekend of September 6, where would watch the Buckeyes take on San Diego State, in what turned out to be his final college visit. He would later tell Todderick Hunt of NJ.com that he had a good feeling about the Buckeyes leading into his official visit:
I definitely had a good feeling about them. I just wanted to spend more time with coach Meyer. Before this past weekend, I hadn't really spent any time with the players or anything like that, or really gotten to see in-depth how coach Smith teaches his wide receivers. So getting to see those three things really made me feel comfortable and know that was the place.
On September 9, 2013 Brown ended his recruitment and committed to Ohio State as most people expected him to do then. At the time he was the 18th member of the "Dream '14" recruiting class.
Brown shared the reasoning of his commitment with NJ.com:
Really, on my visit, spending time with coach Meyer, the players and also coach (Zach) Smith, it just really reassured me that Ohio State was the place that I belong.
You can listen to Brown talk about committing to Ohio State in the video below:
His recruitment was very uneventful the rest of the way as the next big event for him was an in home visit with Ohio State head coach on January 16. Just a couple of weeks after the in home visit the stellar athlete signed his National Letter of Intent and faxed it to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where he officially became a member of the Ohio State football team.
With all of the depth Ohio State already has at the wide receiver/h-back position, coupled with the fact freshmen Johnnie Dixon and Curtis Samuel are more likely to contribute immediately, I think Brown will redshirt this coming football season.
With that being said, he still has the chance to develop into a solid football player, though he definitely has some learning to do as a pass catcher, as he played quite a bit of running back while in high school and I highly doubt we'll see him lining up at tailback in college.
Ohio State is getting a player with very solid size, who could end up playing wide receiver and even some tight end kind of in the mold as Aaron Hernandez when he was playing for Urban Meyer at Florida five or so years ago.
Obviously he has some developing to do, but with hard work and proper coaching, Brown has the potential to be a solid contributor for the Buckeyes a couple of years down the road. It will be interesting to follow his progress over the course of his career in Columbus.
Land-Grant Holy Land football analyst Christopher Jason had the following to say about the future Buckeye:
With Noah's DI-ready body, I see him lining up as a H-Back or a flexed out tight end for the Buckeyes. In similar fashion to how Urban Meyer used Aaron Hernandez at Florida, expect the same thing of Brown. He is not a polished route runner right now but as they say, "you can't teach size" and Noah certainly has that going for him. He is great after the catch using his strength and speed as a mismatch versus smaller defenders. He is not very quick but he has a second gear that makes defenders hesitant about tackling him. He will be a weapon between the numbers once he gets the proper coaching.
Did you know...
- At the time of his commitment, Brown became the 18th member of Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class, though he was technically the 17th when things were all said and done as Lonnie Johnson would decommit from Ohio State a month or so after Brown committed.
- Brown was the only player in the 2014 class who committed to Ohio State during the 2013 football season. The next commitment the Buckeyes landed in the class came from standout linebacker Raekwon McMillan who committed in the time between the Big Ten title loss and the Orange Bowl loss.