The 2020 college football season may be up in the air, but that didn’t stop Louisiana Tech from bringing in another transfer onto the team.
Penn State graduate transfer D.J. Brown announced his commitment to the Bulldogs via his Twitter page Monday afternoon, becoming the 12th total transfer and sixth from other FBS programs in this year’s recruiting cycle to decide on Tech.
Following three seasons playing cornerback with the Nittany Lions, Brown entered his name into the transfer portal back in February and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
His recruitment with Louisiana Tech started with a Twitter direct message from cornerbacks coach Jeff Burris and sparked Brown doing research into the football program.
“I didn’t know much about Louisiana Tech when Coach Burris contacted me,” Brown told The News-Star Monday afternoon. “I started looking into them and I saw they shut out Miami in the (Independence Bowl) and that really caught my attention. It’s a quality program, they have the longest active bowl win streak in the country. With the restrictions in place, I had to take a virtual tour of the campus.
“But that didn’t matter to me, I was more focused on the environment, the coaching staff and how they play, and all of that was on my checklist. I 100 percent feel like Coach Burris is the right coach for me. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have gone to Tech. Your position coach is the most important coach to you because you spend the most time with them. I feel that he can not only develop my game but take me to the next level.”
Plenty of schools contacted Brown after his he hit the transfer portal, but during his second recruitment process, Brown continually reverted back to his personal checklist and Louisiana Tech kept emerging to the top. And Brown has personal ties to the northeast Louisiana area as his mother, Vivian, is a graduate and former dancer at Grambling State University, Tech’s neighbor.
“I wanted to find the place that really fit me and my family perfectly. The past three years, it was a good experience to experience that brand of football and that type of environment. But at the same time, I wanted to morph myself and find a sport that had everything on my checklist,” Brown said. “Tech just put two corners in the NFL and that’s big for me and my future. All the coaches there treated me first class. With all that put together, it was hard for me to say no.
“Once I narrowed my list down, Louisiana Tech was the perfect choice for me.”
Secondary was one of the biggest areas of concern for Louisiana Tech after losing former two-time All-American corner Amik Robertson, who was selected by the Las Vegas Raiders in the fourth round, one spot after former Tech cornerback/safety L’Jarius Sneed was picked by the Super Bowl defending champion Kansas City Chiefs of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The addition of Brown brings more depth and competition to a position where the corner group lacks significant playing experience. And spending the past three seasons, learning and growing at Penn State, sets him up to come in and battle for a starting cornerback job right away, Brown said.
“Competition is key, not only competition against your opponents but against each other to make yourself better. I think I can also bring in a level of competition to the room that’ll better everyone inside the cornerbacks room,” Brown said.
“I’m light years better than where I was in high school. Maturity is the biggest thing. At Penn State, you mature real fast and the way they run their program, you have no choice but to grow up, handle your business and learn how to carry yourself as a player. You learn the sacrifices you have to make to become a better player. I can’t wait to be able to show my ability on the field now.”
After redshirting a freshman season in 2017 and not garnering any game action in 2018, Brown, a Fairburn, Georgia native and a former three-star prospect out of Creekside High School, appeared in seven games last season and recorded five tackles and pass breakup for Penn State.
Brown will report to Ruston Friday and will have to quarantine next week, per the university COVID-19 protocols, before joining his new team for practice Aug. 24.
“I’m excited about getting back to playing football again. This go around I feel like I’ll have the same joy that I had in high school. It’s not going to feel like a job, but just joy of playing football,” Brown said. “I can’t wait to buckle up my chin straps and get back to work again.”