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Transfer Talk: What Oklahoma is Getting in OT Spencer Brown

Bill Bedenbaugh moved swiftly to land one of the most experienced right tackles in the transfer portal.

Oklahoma’s offensive line needed a major overhaul this offseason.

Bill Bedenbaugh wasted little time after losing left tackle Walter Rouse and right guard McKade Mettauer to graduation, center Andrew Raym and right tackle Tyler Guyton to the draft, and left guard Cayden Green to the transfer portal.

Not all is lost, as offensive tackle Jacob Sexton returns off OU’s final starting offensive line for the year and Troy Everett will return to compete at center. But still, Bedenbaugh needed to bring plenty of bodies through the door to protect Jackson Arnold in 2024.

With a large task ahead, he didn’t waste much time.

Spencer Brown, a veteran piece from Michigan State’s offensive line, became OU’s first transfer portal commit of the 2024 transfer class back on Dec. 6.

He spent four years in East Lansing, starting 24 games. A majority of those snaps came at right tackle, though he did slide over to left tackle for 82 snaps this past season, per Pro Football Focus.

There were opportunities on both ends of the line, but he settled in at right tackle early in his Spartan career.

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“Brown did play a few snaps at left tackle during his time in East Lansing, but it was very few,” said Stephen Brooks, who covers Michigan State for Spartan Tailgate. “I’m not sure if it was a comfort or preference thing or what. MSU’s two left tackles this past year were both younger players than him.

“After 2021 when both tackle jobs were open, they slotted Brown in at right and went with a younger player, Brandon Baldwin, on the left, and primarily stayed with that in ‘22 and ‘23.”

Brown endured a tumultuous year with the Spartans in 2023.

Head coach Mel Tucker was dismissed at the end of September, throwing the team into limbo.

The Spartans were 2-2 at the time of Tucker’s official firing, dropping a pair of lopsided contests to Washington and Maryland, and the results didn’t get much better. Michigan State beat only Nebraska and Indiana the rest of the way, and the offense combined to score just three total points against Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.

Brown was a constant up front the entire year.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound tackle from Canton, MI, started 12 games in 2022, playing 783 snaps, and 11 games last year.

He finished with a 61.6 run blocking grade and a 63.7 pass blocking grade, and was credited with allowing three sacks and 10 quarterback hurries per PFF.

Bedenbaugh is no stranger to helping get the best out of veteran offense tackles, however.

A year ago, the Sooners landed Rouse from Stanford, a team that also struggled through a tough 2022 campaign.

Playing through injury his final season in Palo Alto, Rouse finished 2022 with a 70.2 run blocking grade and a 54.4 pass blocking grade per PFF, allowing five sacks and 11 hurries.

Last year, Rouse improved his pass blocking grade to 83.8 per PFF, allowing no sacks and just four hurries after working for one full year with Bedenbaugh.

FB - Spencer Brown

Spencer Brown made 24 career starts for Michigan State before hitting the transfer portal and landing at Oklahoma. 

Though he primarily manned the right side, Brooks told AllSooners Brown is athletically equipped to flip sides of the line if Bedenbaugh wants to tinker this spring, as he so often does to find his strongest starting five up front.

“From a frame and athleticism standpoint, I think he could absolutely do it,” Brooks  said. “Brown has prototypical size and he’s a decent athlete for his position, those are the best things he has going for him. With his experience, I think he could make the transition to the left side with the proper practice reps if needed.”

Brown’s exposure to the spotlight is an aspect of his game that can’t be replicated on the practice fields in Norman this spring.

He battled eventual Big Ten Champion and playoff-bound Michigan on the road in 2022 as well as Penn State, and took on Ohio State in Ohio Stadium this past November.

Regardless of who wins out through the spring and fall camp in Oklahoma’s offensive line battle, Brown’s wealth of experience can be an asset to the unit.

Though the Spartans had veterans in place who led the way vocally as Brown found his footing in college football, he’s primed to take on a larger role off the field for the Sooners.

“He was a class or two behind some long-time starters in the interior who had already sort of established themselves as the big voices in the room,” Brooks said. “ … I do think Brown has the capacity to be a solid leader. He came in as a fun-loving, jovial guy who was quick with a joke and transformed into somebody who was much more serious about the work and determined to improve his craft as the years went on.

“I think he even spoke once about how it was hard to stay focused as a deep reserve early in his career, but once he was looked at as a starter, that made him want to work harder.”