Keith Brown is one of the best freshmen in the Pac-12 and on any other team than Oregon football, he’d probably be a lock to be in the two-deep heading into the 2021 season.
For Oregon, however, he’s fighting for position with senior Nate Heaukulani behind Noah Sewell on the inside. He enrolled early, but it’s tough to crack the starting lineup on one of the most loaded defenses in the Pac-12, and he has his work cut out for him this season,
Brown was ranked the No. 114 overall recruit and 13th-best linebacker in the class and he was the state of Oregon’s No. 1 prospect, according to the composite.
It’s hard to imagine him not having a role on this defense with his potential and the size he put on this offseason (adding 25 pounds) but he’s probably not on the two-deep right now, although I would have him as Sewell’s backup if it were up to me. Mario Cristobal is probably going to give the early nod to Heaukulani but I wouldn’t be shocked if Brown eventually passed him up.
What exactly will be Brown’s role in 2021?
I’m going to say Brown starts off with the third-string, just missing out on the two-deep, but by the end of September, he’ll be in the playing rotation.
Brown is going to have a decent role on this defense, but it’s not going to be starter snaps and he’ll still be splitting backup duties with Heaukulani.
While I don’t think Brown is going to have a major role in 2021, he’s an injury away from the two-deep which will place him right in the thick of the playing group. And he’ll be ready.