Senior Justin Brown will lead a talented pool of Penn State wide receivers in 2012. The Nittany Lions' most experienced wideout, Brown is excited about the possibilities that exist in the passing game in Penn State's new offense. Named third-team preseason All-Big Ten by Phil Steele's College Football Preview, Brown's strong efforts in off-season conditioning and spring practice have him poised for another highly productive campaign. He is atop the depth chart at one of the wide receiver slots and should be a large contributor in the passing game and special teams. With good size and hands and crisp route-running abilities, Brown has demonstrated an ability to make big plays for the Nittany Lions. The athletic and talented Brown made significant strides during the 2011 campaign, which included 35 receptions, 517 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The former Concord High School standout was the only Nittany Lion to have at least one catch in every game last year. He enters the season with 1,047 career receiving yards, good for No. 20 in program history. Brown led the team with 27 punt returns for 220 yards and his 737 all-purpose yards were third-highest. The hard-working wideout made 11 starts last year and his 19 career starts lead all returnees. He started 2012 by scoring on a 69-yard touchdown catch and run at the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2. Brown saw action on 731 snaps in 2011, the second-highest total among all returning offensive players. He is on schedule to graduate in December and is one of three returning Nittany Lions from Delaware.
2011 Junior Season
Brown started 11 games and was the only Nittany Lion to have at least one catch in every game. He was second on the team with 35 receptions and 517 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns. Brown led the team with 27 punt returns for 220 yards and was third with 737 all-purpose yards. He began 2012 with a 69-yard touchdown catch and run against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl. The reception was the longest of his career and the team's third-longest of the season. He also was just inches away from returning a punt 93 yards for a score in the battle with Houston, but grazed the sideline chalk en route to the end zone. Brown made three catches for 40 yards against No. 2 Alabama and tied his career-high with six catches for 62 yards in the win at Temple. He made three catches for 41 yards in the Big Ten-opening win at Indiana. He had a three-catch, 42-yard game against Iowa and made four catches for 86 yards in the Leaders Division victory over Purdue. Brown made three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown in the 34-24 win over Northwestern and had a three-catch, 50-yard effort in the division decision against Illinois. Among his 220 punt return yards were the team's two longest returns of the year, both 33 yards, against Purdue and at Wisconsin. His return against the Boilermakers took the ball to the 31-yard line to set up a field goal in the 23-18 win. Brown saw action on 731 snaps, the highest total among all wideouts and backs, led by 80 plays in the Nebraska game.
2010 Sophomore Season
It was a breakout season for Brown, as he started eight games and played in every contest. He was third on the team with 33 receptions for 452 yards (13.7) and one touchdown. He made three receptions for 35 yards against Youngstown State, with a long of 23 yards, and made one catch for 20 yards at No. 1 Alabama. In his first career start, he made one grab for nine yards against Kent State. Brown set then-career-bests with four catches for 84 yards in the win over Temple. He had a career-long 33-yard grab and also a huge 27-yard catch on third down to keep the Lions' 96-yard touchdown drive alive in the fourth quarter against the Owls. He made four catches, good for 42 yards, in the Big Ten-opener at Iowa and made two catches for 14 yards in the win at Minnesota. Brown made a big 15-yard catch for a first down in the fourth quarter of the primetime victory over Michigan. The drive ended with a Collin Wagner field goal for a 10-point lead with 5:43 to play. Brown had a strong game at Ohio State, catching a then-career-high five passes for 64 yards, including his first career touchdown reception, a 23-yarder from Matt McGloin. He made four receptions for 50 yards against Indiana. Brown re-set his career-highs in receptions and receiving yards against No. 10 Michigan State, catching six passes for 106 yards, his first career 100-yard receiving game. Brown saw action on 575 snaps, topped by 67 against Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl and 52 in the historic comeback win over Northwestern.
2009 Freshman Season
Brown made his debut in the win over Syracuse and played in 11 games. He made five receptions for 78 yards for an impressive 15.6-yard average. He also provided a spark for the punt return unit, with seven returns that included the team's two longest of the season -- 20 yards against Eastern Illinois and 18 yards in the big win over LSU in the Capital One Bowl. Brown's most notable game was a three-catch, 45-yard effort against Eastern Illinois. In the 34-13 win at Northwestern, he made a season-long 27-yard grab. He saw action on 120 snaps, topped by 26 against Eastern Illinois and 16 at Michigan State. He was one of eight true freshmen to see playing time.
Brown earned all-state honors as a wideout and defensive back for Coach George Kosanovich at Concord HS. He recorded 27 catches for 500 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season. Rivals.com named him a four-star recruit and the top prep player in Delaware in 2008. As a junior, he was named first-team all-state at defensive back and second-team all-state at wide receiver, as well as first-team all-county at wide receiver, defensive back and punter.
Full name is Justin Gabriel Brown. He is the son of Joel and Iris Brown, and has two older brothers, Joel and Jeremiah. His mother is a Penn State graduate. Jeremiah played football at California University of Pennsylvania and a cousin, Christian LeMay, plays quarterback at Georgia. During his free time, Brown likes to go to the movies, play pool and hang out with friends. A media studies major, Brown is interested in becoming a sports broadcaster. Born March 10, 1991 in Cheltenham, Pa.