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All State Football: Tulsa Union's Tre Brown was too good for high school

Tulsa Union's Tre Brown scores a touchdown in the Redskins' victory over Norman North in the state championship game [PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Tulsa Union's Tre Brown scores a touchdown in the Redskins' victory over Norman North in the state championship game [PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Sometimes football got boring for Tulsa Union's Tre Brown this season. He was too good for high school.

“It's kind of like a kid who has already taken algebra and you are making him take the class again and he already knows all the answers,” Tulsa Union head coach Kirk Fridrich said. “There are times I am sure it was boring to him, frustrating not being involved as much because he did such an outstanding job for us.”

That's because few teams would challenge Tulsa Union's lockdown cornerback in the passing game or kick the ball to him as a returner. He was that good.

“He is not going to have just unbelievable stats because there would be games where nobody even threw to (Brown's) side,” Fridrich said.

“We could take somebody's best player and use him (Brown) to take the guy away. He did an outstanding job of doing that, especially in the last couple of games against Jenks and Norman North.”

Brown, named to The Oklahoman's All-State team, set a school record for kick return yards with 922 in his career at Tulsa Union, including 280 this season, even though teams were scared to kick the ball to the 4.3 speedster in the 40-yard dash.

Brown's speed was on display in the playoffs. He returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the Redskins' 45-21 victory over Jenks in the semifinals.

He also had a 53-yard touchdown reception in Tulsa Union's 57-43 win over Norman North in the state championship game.

Tulsa Union coaches intended on using Brown more on the offensive side of the ball during the regular season, but a nagging knee injury kept them from doing so.

Union did try to get Brown the ball more often during the state title game against Norman North, Fridrich said.

Brown had three receptions for 78 yards in the game, including the 53-yard touchdown. He also took a reverse lateral on a punt and returned it 52 yards to set up another Redskins score.

“He is one of the faster guys I have seen,” Norman North coach Brent Barnes said. “His speed, we would have no match for and I think most teams would say the same thing. They don't have a guy that is going to be able to run like him.”

Brown finished the 2016 season with 26 tackles and one interception on defense, plus five touchdowns on offense. He is committed to the University of Oklahoma where he could contribute immediately in the Sooners' secondary.

“He just has great instincts for the ball, extremely fast, does a great job of reading what the quarterback does and makes a lot of great plays,” Fridrich said.

Barnes called Brown one of the best high school cornerbacks that he has seen in years.

“I thought he was certainly good as any defensive back we saw this season and maybe even in a while,” Barnes said. “He is extremely fast, athletic, has good ball skills. He just understands how to be in the right position on defense.”

Some question Brown's height of 5-foot-11 for a cornerback playing major college football, but both Fridrich and Barnes think he will excel at the next level.

“The skill set that he possesses is going to help him overcome that,” Barnes said. “The speed and his physical nature will still give him a ton of opportunities to make plays.”

Fridrich agrees.

“For Tre, he has the ability to be as good as he wants to be,” Fridrich said. “To me, he is a lockdown corner. He can cover receivers bigger than him because he's got such great ability with his speed and the way that he just plays football.”

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›