Brown turns it around

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Last updated: 09/30/2013 10:55 PM
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Meyer Very Happy with what Brown Can Finally Do For Him
By Rob Ogden

When taking over a 6-7 team that lacked many proven playmakers on offense, you would think a new coach would covet the team's leading receiver from the year prior.

That wasn't the case when Urban Meyer took over the Buckeyes prior to last season. In 2011, Corey "Philly" Brown tied for the team lead with 14 receptions, but Meyer wanted nothing to do with him, to the point that he hoped the then-junior would transfer.

"This time last year, I was hoping he would move on somewhere else," Meyer said Monday. "We had enough."

But at some point during the 2012 season, Meyer's outlook of Brown began to change. Brown caught 60 balls for the Buckeyes, and was the team's leading receiver for the second-consecutive season.

Corey "Philly" Brown has become Corey "Turnaround" Brown
Photo by Dan Harker
Corey Brown

Meyer said it was the biggest turnaround for a player he can remember.

"He's the leader. He runs the show right now," he said. "There's a reason why Evan Spencer and Devin Smith are grading out champions. There's a reason that we go down individual, everyone is going plus two effort, we call it, because the guy first in the line is No. 10 and he demands it."

Brown was named the team's co-offensive player of the week for his eight-catch, 85-yard, two-touchdown performance during Saturday' 31-24 win against Wisconsin.

It was the first two-touchdown game of Brown's career. He had only one touchdown the entire 2011 season.

Sometime between then and now, Meyer gave Brown a self-evaluation sheet.

"We filled out a little form about what we think about ourselves and he filled out what he thinks about us," Brown said. "Maybe that was a little eye-opener."

Brown said his coach's sheet turned out similar to his. 

"We were on the same page for the most part. I think that's why we get along now," he said.

The five touchdowns Brown has scored this season equals the combined total from his previous three seasons, but offensive coordinator Tom Herman said Brown's biggest transformation has been off the field, not on it.

"I don't know that he's changed much (on the field), he was pretty dang good last year too," Herman said. "I don't think he took his classwork very seriously. I don't think he took his approach to the game very seriously. Everything about him was sort of three quarters in. He's made a commitment to really becoming a professional at his craft and in his life."

Brown has come so far that he was named a captain by his teammates prior to the season. His leadership has been evident this year, and he isn't afraid to speak up, even on Twitter.

In the past few weeks, Brown clicked 'tweet' on numerous posts denouncing the "Buckeye haters", as he called them.

Two days before the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin, Brown went on a five-tweet rant in response to ESPN analyst Mark May's criticism of Brown and Ohio State.

"Mark may lol he gets paid to hate," he tweeted. "Whats his record when it comes to picking against the buckeyes??"

Brown said he's inclined to tweet when he feels his team is being attacked.

"When people take shots at our team, it's like taking shots at my family and I take that personally," he said. "Whatever I say on Twitter, I really mean."

Brown said the coaches have never had a problem with his tweets, though he did end up deleting one tweet he posted Monday.

"It's a big game this week because WE made it a big game not them…," Brown wrote via Twitter.

As long as Brown remains a positive influence in the locker room and a difference-maker on the field, Twitter is likely the least of his coaches' concerns.

"Man, I mean, he's got a nice life ahead of him," Meyer said. "He's just got to continue doing what he's doing."

That message hasn't been lost on Brown.

"My first couple years here weren't as good as they should have been," he said, "so now I'm just trying to make up for lost time."

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