Marquise Brown had a knack for putting exclamation points on College of the Canyons’ offensive drives this season.
The 5-foot-11 freshman speedster caught a team-best 10 touchdown passes, often leaving dazed defenders in his wake.
Monday he capped a mammoth month for COC by committing to the University of Oklahoma.
His choice of the Sooners followed defensive lineman Sione Taufahema’s commitment to the University of Arizona on Sunday and left tackle Tyler Bjorklund’s pick of Colorado State last week.
“It’s a big-time program,” Brown said of why he chose Oklahoma, which is set to play Auburn in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2. “The coaches, they really wowed me. They really have a plan for me, and when I took a visit there, it was great. And when they came for a home visit, it was even better. It felt like the right move.”
Oklahoma’s coaches, Brown said, see him as a potential replacement for wideout Dede Westbrook, a 6-foot senior who has caught 74 passes for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns this year.
Brown caught 50 passes for 754 yards at COC in 2016. A standout on special teams, he reeled off 1,341 all-purpose yards, sparking comparisons to former COC star Tim White.
Brown, in fact, left his home state of Florida to go to COC partly because he admired White, who has gone on to star for Arizona State.
The Sun Devils, Oregon and USC were a few of the Pac-12 programs to offer Brown a scholarship.
COC coach Ted Iacenda said earlier this year he was a sure a Pac-12 school would offer Taufahema, but, for the majority of the season, it didn’t happen.
“All season, I was just kind of getting mad and upset that I was not getting any interest,” Taufahema said by phone Monday. “Talking to coach (Iacenda), he was telling me to keep the faith.”
Taufahema’s perseverance wasn’t in vain.
The Wildcats extended an offer to the 6-3, 320-pound nose tackle, who anchored COC’s line.