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Transfer Breakdown: Sam Brown Jr.



Credit: Canes Football

This past Sunday, the Canes added Samuel Brown Jr., the top available receiver in the spring transfer portal. Brown’s decision to commit to the Hurricanes, and play alongside star quarterback Cam Ward, has set high expectations for Miami’s offense in 2024, as Miami is projected to have one of the most explosive offenses in the nation.

Building on a very good 2023 season at Houston, where he totaled 62 receptions for 815 yards and three touchdowns, Brown arrives in Coral Gables as a potential starter for Miami’s wide receiving corps that includes the two most productive receivers in the ACC in Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George. Standing tall at 6-foot-2, Brown possesses the rare combination of size, speed, and agility that are prototypical of elite wide receivers.

What kind of player are the Canes adding in Sam Brown? For starters, they are adding a guy who was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Conference wide receiver. In 2023, Brown finished fifth in receptions per game (5.2), eighth in receiving yards per game (67.9), and tenth in total receiving yards (815). His ability to force missed tackles after the catch, ranked second in the conference with 20 missed tackles, shows his ability to extend plays. He is a very versatile player that you can line up in different areas as he had 624 snaps as an X wide receiver and 70 snaps in the slot.

Miami offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson’s affinity for tunnel screens aligns seamlessly with Brown’s skill set, as his blazing 4.4 forty-yard dash time and innate ability to create separation make him a nightmare for opposing defenses. Brown’s proficiency in turning short passes into explosive gains gives Miami a dangerous weapon in the short and intermediate passing game, as that level of speed and playmaking ability has been absent at the receiver position ever since Mario Cristobal arrived in Miami. His crisp route-running ability allows him to effectively deceive defenders and create separation, allowing him to deploy a diverse range of routes including deep routes, slants, and comebacks that force safeties to help over the top to prevent Brown from getting behind defenses and making big plays. As a result, this frees up the running game, allowing Ward to have a myriad of options, where he can run it himself, feed Damien Martinez who will have open lanes to run or even hit Restrepo in the slot for easy gains.

Despite his talent, Brown has shown occasional lapses in concentration, resulting in dropped passes. An example of this was the Texas game where he had two dropped passes that would have gone for big plays. Improving consistency and his concentration in catching the football will be crucial for the Canes who have had a history of wide receivers not being able to hold on to the football in the last decade. The Canes are confident that Brown, who showed tremendous improvement from 2022 to 2023, will continue his upward trajectory in 2024 providing the Canes with elite production.

With Brown joining forces with Ward, along with Jacolby George and Xavier Restrepo, the Hurricanes boast the best receiving corps in the ACC. Opposing defenses will be forced to pick their poison, as they grapple with the dual threat of Ward’s arm and legs, Martinez’s explosiveness in the ground game, and the playmaking ability of Brown, George, and Restrepo downfield. Brown’s proven production and game-changing speed have given the Canes the potential to be an unstoppable offensive juggernaut.

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