Ohio State Buckeyes: Devin Brown ‘pumped’ for chance to lead Buckeyes in bowl game

COLUMBUS — Devin Brown’s spot in Ohio State’s recruiting class opened up when Quinn Ewers opted to transfer out of the program two years ago.

His first chance to start for the Buckeyes is coming thanks to Kyle McCord deciding to enter the transfer portal.

Unconventional? Maybe, but that is no concern of the redshirt freshman from Gilbert, Ariz.

He just plans to take advantage when Ohio State takes on Missouri in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.

“I wish the best of luck for Kyle,” Brown said. “That’s one of my closest friends. I hope he goes and does big things, but then again I am excited to finally go and play and show what I can do with this team.”

Brown spent the offseason competing with McCord to replace C.J. Stroud as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.

The battle was said to be close much of the time, and it dragged into the regular season before head coach Ryan Day declared McCord to be his No. 1 man.

That didn’t deter Brown, who brings a distinct air of confidence into the interview room.

“All year, I’ve always prepared like I am the starter,” said Brown, who finished up his high school career at Corner Canyon in Draper, Utah, as a four-star prospect. “It’s definitely different knowing you’re getting a lot more reps and it’s not split up or anything like that. There is no looking over my shoulder. I just need to go out and have fun and play my game.”

The 6-foot-3, 213-pounder has the support of his teammates, including potential top target Emeka Egbuka if No. 1 receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. opts not to play.

“I’m not bashing Kyle, but something that Devin has that he doesn’t is a little bit more mobility,” Egbuka said. “We always joked with Kyle about stuff like that, but Devin really has a knack for extending the play after it’s broken down.”

He noted that is valuable in top 10 matchups such as the one against the Tigers.

“Because those big plays often come from broken down plays,” Egbuka said. “It’s not something you’ve scripted. It’s just the reaction of the players that are around you.”

Brown saw action in five games this season and completed 12 of 22 passes for two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 36 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, but the second half of his season was marred by an ankle injury.

“I think he’s he’s a great passer,” Egbuka said. “He’s a great improviser, a great field general. He’s someone who provides the offense with a lot of energy, which is huge for that position. And he has a cannon, too. Those deep balls down the field, he can really launch those as well.

“We all wished Kyle the best when he departed, but there’s kind of no time to be sentimental or sad. It’s always the next man forward mentality.”

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