Old roomie has no dirt on Dru Brown
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.”
Hawaii graduate transfer quarterback Dru Brown is expected to arrive at Oklahoma State in late July to enter himself into the Cowboys’ quarterback battle.