Sam Brown showed promise as soon as he took the field in the Old Gold and Blue. The freshman receiver made his first career start on Sept. 12 vs. Eastern Kentucky and finished with four catches for 43 yards and was an early target for Jarret Doege.
He has yet to see game action since, however. After the loss at Oklahoma State, head coach Neal Brown was asked about Sam Brown’s absence from the field. He said it was a coach’s decision.
Offensive coordinator and receiver coach Gerad Parker was asked about Brown’s status ahead of the Kansas game. Parker said he’s learned over the years that when you are dealing with a young player that shows great promise, you have to walk a fine line.
“If you are not careful, those guys in playing game one, which we had to do because of some circumstances, that puts a thought in many people’s heads that it is that easy,” Parker said.
Brown got the start over veteran Sam James in game one. Since then, Parker said Brown is growing and learning just like every freshman in his position has too.
“Like I always say, coaching is good parenting. He’s got some habits that we’ve discussed that he’s got to continue to grow upon. Continue to be accountable and knowing what it means to be a great player all the time and not just on game day,” Parker said. “He is learning how to practice the right way, learning how to be at lifts at 6 a.m. on time and be ready to work. Just embracing what it really means to be a college football player on a consistent basis.”
Parker said Brown has been doing exactly that over the past few weeks. As he learns, not only does it develop trust between him and the coaching staff, but he also gains trust and confidence in himself.
As a freshman with big potential, the main goal is molding him into a contributor for seasons to come, not just for the immediate future.
“What he is learning is we have his best interest at heart and are trying to get him to form habits that are going to make him special long term, and not just trying to get him out there on the field and find results on game day in the short term — which I think is a very slippery slope,” Parker said. “We think very highly of him and he is learning how to be a good football player. That’s all. And I think he will be a very good one.”