Don’t be confused by Marquise Brown’s “Hollywood” moniker. He’s not another great Oklahoma football find from the Golden State of California.
His inspirational story and highlight reel in his relatively short time in a Sooner uniform, however, is the kind of material that catches the interest of scriptwriters and filmmakers. Brown certainly has captured the interest of OU fans, not to mention the Sooners’ opponents.
Brown is Kyler Murray’s No. 1 receiving target with 38 receptions for 778 yards and seven touchdowns through seven games this season. The redshirt junior is well on his way to a second consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season, and his seven TD catches so far in 2018 equals the number of times he reached the end zone a year ago.
Brown’s 1,095 receiving yards and 19.2 yards per catch led the Sooners last season, and he is averaging 18.8 yards per reception this season.
The Sooners have had great success the past couple of decades bringing in recruits from the state of California. Oklahoma may have found Brown in the state of California – he played one season at College of the Canyons in northern Los Angeles county, — but he calls Hollywood, Florida, home.
Thus the origin of the nickname “Hollywood,” which Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson unceremoniously conferred on Brown during a spectacular performance in Oklahoma’s 62-52 Bedlam win over Oklahoma State last season. The junior-college transfer had nine receptions in that game for 265 yards and two spectacular touchdown catches of 84 and 77 yards.
Brown’s electrifying speed (he usually is the fastest man on the field every Saturday) and good hands, has caused nightmares for defensive coordinators the past two seasons. His playmaking ability and agility makes him a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball, and he is a matchup problem on deep throws.
Academic issues probably prevented Brown from getting more recruiting offers out of high school and led to his going the JUCO route in his first year of college ball. OU discovered him at College of the Canyons recruited Brown for the 2017 class. He was rated as the No. 10 JUCO player overall and the No. 3 wide receiver by Rivals.com He chose the Sooners over TCU, USC, Tennessee and others.
“You see Oklahoma, that’s big-time football,” Brown told John Rohde, a special contributor to SoonerSports.com. “Once I came here on a visit, I knew this was the place I wanted to be.”
The big concern when Brown arrived in Norman was his diminutive size. Then-head coach Bob Stoops wasn’t as concerned about Brown’s physical size as some others.
“I don’t really care,” Stoops said several months before officially announcing his retirement. “He may have gained a couple (pounds). He might be in the 150s now, but we won’t ask him to kick out any linebackers. We’ll ask him to get behind a lot of people, and he can really go.”
Brown can outrun most anybody on the football field, but he hasn’t been able to outpace the steady references to his physical measurements, writes Rohde. Listed at 5-foot, 10 inches and 171 pounds in this years Oklahoma Football Media Guide, Brown didn’t tip the scales at even 150 pounds when he first came to Oklahoma.
“I don’t need a scale to tell me I’m small,” Brown said. “It never held me back. I could always produce the same or produce more” than other receivers who were bigger than me.
Outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons told Rohde that Brown plays with a lot of confidence and with a chip on his shoulder:
“He has a chip on his shoulder every time he steps on the field that allows him to play at such a high level and play even bigger than he is.”
Brown may have been somewhat of a surprise when he first stepped on the football field for Oklahoma, but he clearly is on everyone’s radar now. And despite the increased attention, the speedy wide receiver continues to make big plays and defy the odds.
The nickname “Hollywood” seems more than appropriate for all the thrills and excitement and the show that Brown has put on for Oklahoma fans in just 20 career games for the Sooners