On coach Urban Meyer's football assembly line at Ohio State, no player is ever a finished project. Take the case of receiver Corey Brown.
On coach Urban Meyer's football assembly line at Ohio State, no player is ever a finished project.
Take the case of receiver Corey Brown.
A week ago, Meyer said the offense needed to pass more to Brown, the Buckeyes' leading receiver with 60 catches in 2012, after he had only two catches against Buffalo. Then Brown caught six passes, two for touchdowns, on Saturday in a win over San Diego State as the Buckeyes and backup quarterback Kenny Guiton rose above the loss of Braxton Miller to a knee injury.
But when asked about Brown's play, Meyer beat a worn drum. He keeps asking for Brown to break more tackles and gain more yards after his catches.
"There's too much dancing around with him and (junior receiver) Devin Smith, and you've got to break a tackle once in a while," Meyer said. "It took (Brown) six games to figure it out last year, and all of a sudden he started doing it on punt returns. So that's an area were not strong at yet right now."
When reminded this week that Brown was a running back in high school in the Philadelphia area, Meyer stung again.
"First of all, he was a very poor running back, and you can tell him I said that," Meyer said, smiling.
It was another prod, but Brown, a senior captain, didn't just take it.
"I had more rushing yards than every running back we have on this roster now in high school, so I guess I was pretty good," Brown said.
But Meyer knows that he wants more from Brown, who has blossomed in their 22 months together. Despite leading the team in catches last season, only two were for touchdowns. Brown has matched that already this season.
"His transition, he's legitimate," Meyer said, praising Brown's efforts on the field, off the field in workouts, his leadership, and his approach to academics. "I'm a big Philly Brown guy right now."
He also believes Brown has become capable of moving on to the NFL if the improvement continues.
"And if you would have said that at this time last year, no chance," Meyer said.
That is why he thinks Brown is capable of more big plays, and he would like to see them as soon as Saturday at California. With that running back pedigree, Meyer knows Brown has it in him.
But Brown has been a work in progress since he arrived at Ohio State in 2010 with only experience at running back and cornerback. The staff of former coach Jim Tressel pegged him as a receiver.
Comparing those first couple of years with his rise in 2012 and then to now, "I think it's night and day if you go back and look at the film," Brown said. "It was a hard transition at first. I never played wideout till I got here."
Under the mentoring of former teammates DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher, both now in the NFL, he learned to run crisper routes and become a better ball-catcher.
"I had good leaders … who helped me get to where I am today," Brown said. "So I'm blessed."
He's also working on breaking tackles, like Meyer wants.
"It's open-field running," Brown said. "We do drills in practice where it's wideouts vs. (defensive backs) or wideouts vs. linebackers, make-you-miss drills. So we'll probably do more of that."