Transfer SZN: Oklahoma's Top 10 Transfers of the Last 20 Years: No. 6, Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown was small for major college football, but with toughness, good hands and blazing speed, he became a Sooner All-American.
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The NCAA transfer portal is always open. With 10 transfers over the last two seasons — including five Division I transfers new to the Oklahoma roster in 2021 — OU has made a living off transfers in recent years. Every Tuesday this summer, SI Sooners examines Oklahoma's 10 best transfers — junior college and four-year — of the last 20 years. (Josh Heupel and Torrance Marshall, class of ’99, are outside of that time frame.)

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The only thing anyone wanted to talk about when Marquise Brown arrived at Oklahoma was his weight.

Listed 5-foot-11 when he arrived in Norman from College of the Canyons (CA) — his official NFL height it listed at 5-9 — many assumed Brown was just too slight to play major college football.

Brown had zero Division I offers coming out of Hollywood, FL, but then he led his juco team with 50 catches for 754 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman and was rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN and Rivals.

He picked the Sooners over Tennessee, USC, TCU and others, and when he got to Oklahoma, his official weight was listed at 162 pounds — although by the time he finished his first spring practice as an early enrollee, he actually weighed 148.

That was no deterrent to Lincoln Riley, who immediately found plenty of ways to showcase Brown’s elite speed in his first year as the Sooners’ head coach.

Brown busted Tulane for 155 yards and a touchdown on six catches in just his second game in an OU uniform, then hit Texas for 73 yards on four catches and hung 126 yards on Kansas State on six catches.

Then in the first game of November in his sophomore year, Brown wrecked Oklahoma State for 265 yards — an all-time OU single-game record — and two touchdowns on nine receptions.

Brown finished strong with 64 yards against West Virginia, 87 against TCU and 114 and a TD on eight grabs against Georgia in the Rose Bowl.

He wrapped up his first season with 1,095 yards and seven TDs on 57 receptions, a staggering 19.2 yards per catch, and was accorded honorable mention All-Big 12 honors.

As a junior, Brown exploded early with at least 130 yards in four of his first five games, and at least one touchdown in each of his first five.

That included 133 yards and a TD against Florida Atlantic, 88 and another score against UCLA and 191 and a touchdown in a win at Iowa State, then 132 and two scores against Baylor and 131 and two TDs in a loss to Texas.

Brown fought through several injuries but was again at his best against Oklahoma State (142 yards and a touchdown) and then destroyed the West Virginia secondary for 243 yards — second in OU history, behind his own record — on a career-high 11 catches and two touchdowns.

Brown sustained a foot injury against Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game and was carted off the field. He tried to play in the Orange Bowl loss to Alabama in front of his hometown fans, but only got in for a few plays and didn’t catch a pass.

Brown earned first-team All-America honors after catching 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior, then declared for the NFL Draft.

Brown was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2019 NFL Draft (25th overall) and in two seasons with the club has 104 receptions for 1,353 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a rookie, he produced 46 catches for 584 yards and seven scores, and in 2020 he grabbed 58 passes for 769 yards and eight TDs.

Regardless of his physical stature, Brown played big at OU, and he’s been equally huge in the Ravens’ playoff games, with seven catches for 126 yards against Tennessee in 2019, and seven catches for 109 yards against the Titans and four catches for 87 yards against Buffalo in 2020.