Gus Johnson’s iconic voice has been on the call for thousands of sporting events throughout an illustrious career.
Last Saturday, while doing play-by-play for Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Johnson belted out one of his signature vivacious calls for a 77-yard touchdown catch from Oklahoma wide receiver and College of the Canyons alum, Marquise Brown.
It gave Brown nine catches, 265 yards and two touchdowns of the day — setting an Oklahoma single-game receiving record.
“Who is this guy? Where did he come from?” Johnson blared to Fox Sports 1’s national audience.
His broadcast partner, Joel Platt, quickly filled him in.
“He’s a junior college transfer from College of the Canyons. That’s where he came from.”
Though they were busy beating Santa Monica at the time Brown was setting records, Cougars coach Ted Iacenda and the rest of the team were quickly filled in on what was happening in Stillwater, Okla.
“We got off the field at Santa Monica and my phone absolutely lit up,” Iacenda said. “You hear that call, and you hear us being mentioned, and you’re just like, ‘Wow! That just happened.’”
Brown has been making things happen all season as a sophomore for the Sooners. Last weekend’s breakout performance gave him a team-leading 743 yards to go with four touchdowns.
“It was just a matter of time for him,” Iacenda said. “He’s a special, special young man — football-wise and character-wise. We knew when he got to Oklahoma he was going to have that capability to blow up.”
For Iacenda, it was his phone that continued to blow up over the next few days. He said he had multiple college coaches express their disappointment in not taking a longer look at Brown, who caught 50 passes for 754 yards and 10 touchdowns in his lone season at COC.
Brown’s historic performance also had a trickle-down effect on COC’s current affairs.
“I had 40 new followers on Twitter in a heartbeat,” Iacenda said. “I also had kids sending me their highlight tapes and stuff like that.
“It just really reinforces what we’re doing here. That has a lot of currency.”
It’s certainly plausible Brown could be the next in a line of COC alumni to reach the NFL, including two-time Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul (New York Giants), Domata Peko (Denver Broncos), Mychal Rivera (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Tim White (Baltimore Ravens).
There are also a handful of players on the Cougars’ current squad who will likely be making waves next season in NCAA-Division 1 football. Defensive end Dorian Gerald is committed to Tennessee while wide receiver Desean Holmes (Florida Atlantic) and offensive lineman Carlton Lorenz (Liberty) hold offers.
The Cougars have a chance to capitalize on their moment in the spotlight this Saturday at Bakersfield, where a win will likely earn them a wild-card berth in the Southern California Football Association playoffs.