Chris Brown- Hanahan, South Carolina
Recruiting Rank: 247- 3 star/ ESPN- 3 star/ Rivals-3 Star
When Chris Brown came to ND in the class of 2012, he was widely regarded as a raw talent with one elite skill… Speed. At the time, Brian Kelly was searching for a receiver capable of taking the top off of defenses and utilizing the strong arm of young QB Everett Golson. The OFD consensus when Brown signed was that he was a promising recruit that needed to refine his receiving skills and bulk up, but had loads of potential.
Brown spent his freshman year primarily as a back up and decoy running deep routes to occupy defenses. With only 2 catches on the season there wasn’t a whole lot of production to speak of. However, one of those two catches he had that year was AWESOME!!!
Over the next two seasons, Brown has become a more and more consistent option in the passing game, more than doubling his catches (15 to 39) and receiving yards (209 to 548) from his sophomore to junior seasons. This improvement came in the face of increasing competition for receiver reps this past season with the development of Corey Robinson, Will Fuller and Amir Carlisle. Chris has shown himself to be a legitimate weapon while improving his route running and ball skills over his career.
Next season has the potential to be a breakout year for Chris Brown or it could be a year marked by heavy competition at the receiver position that leads to a lessened role for the senior. If Brown is able to continue to show the leadership and determination that was there this past season, along with continuing to grow his game, Brown could develop into a fantastic receiver for the Irish.
Alternatively, the competition at the receiver position could be fierce with the further development of Fuller, Carlisle and Robinson along with potentially increased roles for young receivers like Torii Hunter, Corey Holmes and Justin Brent. With such a deep and talented receiver pool, the potential is there for Brown to be lost in the shuffle and become part of a committee of receivers rather than moving to the front as a senior. Hopefully this will not be the case for Brown.
Overall, Chris Brown’s last season has the potential to be a great one for him and the Irish as a team. With his height and speed, Brown has all the physical tools to have an outstanding final season in South Bend. Hopefully, the senior from South Carolina can put it all together and go out with a bang.