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Buckeyes Crootin’ 2022 Class-In-Review: Quarterback Devin Brown

In this series, Shane “@BuckeyesCrootin” Bailey will introduce you to every member of the Ohio State 2022 recruiting class.

Photo Credit: Ohio State Football @OhioStateFB on Twitter

Now that I have gone through the list of commitments we had when I started this series, it is time to go back to the new ones that have joined the fold since then. There is no better place to start then with Ohio States brand new All-American Quarterback from the Beehive state out in Utah, Devin Brown. The future, the next great Day QB, the Joe Germaine disciple. Mr. Brown is all of these things and more in my opinion and let me tell you why.

Before we dive in, lets talk some accolades. 247Sports Composite ranks Brown as the No. 53 player in the nation, the No. 6 quarterback, and the best prospect in the state of Utah. His Senior season Devin Brown threw for 4,881 yards (A Utah single season record) and threw for 57 touchdowns his senior year, also carrying the ball for 451 yards and 8 touchdowns for the “run the quarterback” crew. He was an elite 11 QB Finalist over the summer at The Opening Finals and garnered much praise from the analysts on hand. 247Sports Brandon Huffman went on to say in regards to Brown:

You can find that full story here. Keep in mind former Buckeye Quinn Ewers was also at this event when these comments were made. Many writers and analysts compared Devin Browns rise at the Elite 11 to that of CJ Stroud, who of course you all know also ended up playing the Quarterback position in Columbus now.

This time I decided to do things a bit differently and asked you, the readers, to inquire about specific things in Browns game, so lets start out with a few of those areas first.

The anticipation aspect of a Quarterbacks game is often overlooked for all of the flashy passes and big time bombs that get launched. It is, however, something that can mean the difference between a 10 yard gain, or a 50 yard one. Brown has a great ability throw the ball before the wide receiver gets out of their break. The very first play of his senior season tape shows off this ability right off the bat, he throws the ball right in the bread basket.

:04 mark of the highlight tape in this article

The release is well before the WR turns his head and the moment he turns to look for the football it is already in mid flight. The wideout is at the 36 yard line when Brown releases the ball, the ball then travels over 50 yards through the air, also showcasing what a cannon this guy has, hitting the wideout in stride.

:14 mark of the tape

When the ball gets to the wideout the catch is made all the way down at the 9 yard line. The ball is thrown with plenty of anticipation and before the cornerback even knew he was being targeted. This is only one example of many you can find in his film, the ball gets out of his hands very quickly, not allowing the pass rush time to get near him. He often times throws the ball before the receiver even makes the cuts they are going to make, showing great chemistry with his teammates trusting them to be where they are supposed to be so he can anticipate the coverage and throw the ball on time to an open spot. It shows he has confidence in his teammates and is on the same page from countless hours of practice with one another and that brotherhood and trust factor.

Here is another instance of great arm strength and timing with his teammates. This ball is thrown on an absolute line right over the receivers shoulder, absolutely perfect ball placement. This is one of many of his throws that made me stand up and say WOW (and when I say many I really mean it, this dude is a highlight machine).

This is the one everybody was asking the most, can he run the football? Of course this was a hot topic of debate over the course of the season. Everyone was screaming for CJ Stroud to run the football when he had open looks, despite having one of the best seasons for a Buckeye quarterback in spite of his running prowess. Devin Brown is definitely not a burner or some elusive mobile master of Quarterbacking. However, he is not afraid to lower his shoulder and level some defenders. He is a big and powerful quarterback who does not get taken down to the ground so easily. There are a few plays on tape where he jukes the ever loving mind out of defenders and there are others where he simply runs them over.

This isn’t exactly a running clip, but first off just take a look at his elusiveness in the pocket, he escapes the first rusher while keeping his eyes downfield and delivering an absolute gem to his wide receiver over the middle of the field at the :40 second mark of the above highlight. He is not afraid to lower his shoulder and deliver some punishment to the defender.

If you really want to see some running ability, fast forward to the 1:17 mark of his Senior season tape above. I swear he jukes the kid right out of his shoes. The very next play following that one, he yet again escapes pressure in the pocket and delivers an accurate strike downfield. He is a chore to bring down and I think will showcase some good maneuverability, but I would not expect some elite runner like JT Barrett. His pocket mobility and ability to extend the play with his feet to complete passes downfield reminds me of Aaron Rodgers, but obviously that is a tall mountain to climb before being on Rodgers level.

The next and last thing I wanted to talk about in regards to Brown is like Chris said, his absolute CANNON of an arm. Devin can make absolutely any throw on the field and then some. There are some throws on there that a high school senior really should not make look so easy. He has great placement of the ball into open windows in zone coverage, and the zip on the ball to fit it into tight windows with converging defensive backs.

There are a few 15 yard out patterns that they run in his film, and the ball is always right on the outside shoulder towards the sideline. That is one of the hardest throws to make speaking from a former quarterback myself. The timing to get the ball on the outside shoulder and the arm strength to throw it outside of the numbers accurately is not a common ability for players. This really opens up a playbook for any talented playcaller, especially one named Ryan Day. It gives the receivers the ability to open up and run any route in the route tree without fear of the quarterback not being able to conjure the arm strength to get the ball out to their target.

With the deep ball threats coming into the class alongside Brown like Burton and Grayes, he has the perfect skill set to utilize their deep ball tracking ability and speed. He routinely is throwing the ball 50 yards or more on target to his wideouts on a rope. He may not be rated as highly as Quinn Ewers or Drew Allar but he compares very favorably and according to some articles even outperformed them both in the Elite 11 finals over the summer. That is yet to be seen, but what can be seen is Ryan Day has another absolute star on his hands here in Devin Brown. Whenever he takes over as the successor to this team, Buckeye fans have nothing to worry about.