OU football: Sooners CB Tre Brown to enter NFL Draft, skip Cotton Bowl
NORMAN — OU cornerback Tre Brown, who made three critical plays to help the Sooners win the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday, has played his last game at OU.
Brown announced Monday night that he was entering the NFL Draft and would not be playing in the Cotton Bowl against Florida on Dec. 30.
"Ever since I was a kid, I had dreams of not only playing football at OU, but also making play and building a legacy," Brown posted, in part, on Twitter. "It has been a crazy 4 years. Losing my mother in 2018 was one (of) the hardest years for me, but also motivated me to go even harder."
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Brown is a senior but like all players this season, had an opportunity to return for another year.
“He’s made himself a better player, much better with his technique,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said. “I think that was a big thing with him, consistency and technique and I think that’s improved. Like all of our guys, when they get a chance to take that next step, we’re always excited for them. And Tre’s no different.”
In each of the last three years, Brown made major plays in the Big 12 Championship Game to lift the Sooners to victory.
In Saturday's 27-21 win over Iowa State, Brown's interception with just more than a minute left sealed OU's win.
“Kind of serves as a walk-off home run for Tre, which is great for him and obviously great for us,” Sooners defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said. “Wish him best of luck and sure glad he made that play on Saturday.”
Brown also had a pair of 43-yard kick returns that set up the Sooners' only scores of the game's last 2 1/2 quarters.
In 2019, Brown chased down Baylor's Chris Platt, preventing what could've been a 95-yard go-ahead touchdown. Instead, the Bears had to settle for a game-tying field goal and the Sooners won in overtime.
The year before, Brown's fourth-quarter sack of Texas' Sam Ehlinger for a safety helped the Sooners hold off the Longhorns.
Brown leads the Sooners with six pass breakups and is second on team with three interceptions.
He also had a game-sealing interception of Ehlinger in the fourth overtime in this year's Red River Showdown.
Brown has started 33 games for the Sooners, including 32 consecutive.
“Next man up,” Riley said. “That’s in any year you’ve got to do that. Especially if we haven’t learned that by this point this year, then we’re in trouble. So we’ve played a lot of guys defensively and we don’t expect to miss a beat.”
Freshman D.J. Graham, whose playing time has increased in recent games, is listed behind Brown on the depth chart. Jaden Davis and Woodi Washington have started opposite Brown this year, with Davis starting six games and Washington four. Washington has started four of the last five.