Old roomie has no dirt on Dru Brown

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS - Scott Wright swright@ ok­la­homan.com

Dru Brown wishes he was on cam­pus at Ok­la­homa State right now.

The Hawaii graduate trans­fer quar­ter­back knows the sum­mer is the per­fect time to cul­ti­vate relationships with team­mates, weave him­self into the locker room cul­ture, and be­gin to pre­pare him­self for the sea­son ahead.

In­stead, he’ll get a crash course on all of those things, as well as the Cow­boy of­fense, when he ar­rives in Stillwater in late July, just be­fore the start of camp.

“Ide­ally, you want to get there as early as pos­si­ble, but that just wasn’t the hand I was dealt,” said Brown, who an­nounced his in­ten­tions to trans­fer to OSU in Fe­bru­ary.

Kyle Gallup doesn’t ex­pect Brown to have much trou­ble blend­ing in once he lands in Stillwater.

“He’s got a sense to him that he brings ev­ery­body around him to a bet­ter place,” Gallup said of Brown. “He el­e­vates ev­ery­body’s per­for­mance and per­son­al­i­ties.”

Folks at Ok­la­homa State don’t know much about Brown yet, but few peo­ple know him bet­ter than Gallup, Brown’s room­mate at Hawaii the last two years. Though both have left the pro­gram, they re­main in close con­tact be­cause of the friend­ship they built — first while com­pet­ing for the quar­ter­back job, un­til Gallup con­verted to tight end.

“Dru is a to­tal man of faith,” Gallup said. “He’s su­per-loyal. He’s one of those guys you re­ally only come around once in a life­time. He’s a fairly guarded per­son, but in a good way.

“He’s def­i­nitely grounded in who he is, and I don’t think there’s any­body or any­thing that would change that.”

Brown knows the type of player he is on the field, too. He un­der­stands he’s only 6 feet and 200 pounds, and doesn’t have the sight lines a 6-5 quar­ter­back does. But he’s got a strong arm and the legs to make plays, so he uses those tools to his ad­van­tage.

“His height is al­ways that ele­phant in the room,” Gallup said. “But he knows his weak­ness. He builds on that in other ways. He pre­pares harder than any­one. He can make all the throws on the field. He does ev­ery­thing he can to use his strengths and im­prove on his weak­nesses.”

As Brown’s room­mate, Gallup was one of the few peo­ple who had a good idea Brown would be trans­fer­ring af­ter the 2017 sea­son. The two were heav­ily in­volved in dis­cus­sions about the de­ci­sion and the schools Brown was con­sid­er­ing be­fore pick­ing OSU.

“He’s got goals. He’s got dreams,” Gallup said. “Do­ing what he’s do­ing, leav­ing a start­ing spot at Hawaii and go­ing some­where else proves that.

“For him to leave for what he thought was a bet­ter spot for him re­ally says ev­ery­thing. To leave some­thing good for some­thing that’s un­known is hard to do, but it tells you a lot about how driven he is.”

Brown started 22 games and played in 25 over his two sea­sons at Hawaii. Hav­ing played only one year at the Col­lege of San Ma­teo, he’ll be in just his fourth sea­son of col­lege foot­ball this fall, leav­ing him with a red­shirt year avail­able should he or the Cow­boys choose to use it.

He’s cur­rently liv­ing with his fam­ily in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia while fin­ish­ing up his de­gree at Hawaii through on­line classes. But he’ll jump into the fire of the OSU quar­ter­back com­pe­ti­tion in Au­gust, tak­ing on fifthyear se­nior Tay­lor Cornelius and in­com­ing fresh­man Spencer San­ders.

Last sea­son, Brown com­pleted 254 of 412 pass at­tempts (61.7 per­cent) for 2,785 yards with 18 touch­downs and eight in­ter­cep­tions be­hind a Hawaii of­fen­sive line that was de­stroyed by in­juries and lost its po­si­tion coach in the mid­dle of the sea­son.

Still, he comes into the QB derby as the most ex­pe­ri­enced col­lege player of the bunch.

“I liked how Ok­la­homa State was the first Power 5 school to be will­ing to take a chance on me,” Brown said of his re­cruit­ment af­ter de­cid­ing to leave Hawaii. “Mike Gundy and Mike Yur­cich saw some­thing in me. I was talk­ing to a few other schools, but Ok­la­homa State was the first one to re­ally pull the trig­ger.

“I went out there for a visit, and I felt that if I liked it and they were good men, I wasn’t go­ing to sit around and wait for other schools. I wanted to be around good peo­ple to build good relationships, and that’s what I felt when I was in Stillwater.”

Gallup ex­pects Brown to find his way into a lead­er­ship role at OSU be­cause of his style for tak­ing charge.

“He’s not a guy who’s gonna get up and yell,” Gallup said. “He’s not gonna freak out on peo­ple, but he knows when to talk, and that’s some­thing that peo­ple re­spect. Then when he does speak, peo­ple lis­ten.

“Dru’s com­ing out there to win that job, and I think he’s gonna do it, and I think he’s gonna keep that job. There’s work to be done, but if any­one can do it, it’s him.”

[AP PHOTO]

Hawaii graduate trans­fer quar­ter­back Dru Brown is ex­pected to ar­rive at Ok­la­homa State in late July to en­ter him­self into the Cow­boys’ quar­ter­back bat­tle.

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