Landing a quarterback commitment is always big news. Landing a quarterback commit late in the recruiting calendar is even bigger news. Ryan Browne, a 3* quarterback out of Millford Academy (New Berlin, New York) via Venice, Florida committed to Jeff Brohm and the Boilermakers this morning.
The 6’5”, 215 pound gunslinger made his reputation in Florida, by winning the 8A state championship last season at Venice High School. He was Florida’s 8A player of the year in 2021, and was runner up for Mr. Football. He was a late bloomer at Venice, only putting up FBS numbers as a senior, and subsequently chose to play a prep year at Milford Academy to increase his options. He was patient and after simmering on Purdue’s back burner for most of the cycle, things came to a boil when he received an official offer on October 6th. He didn’t wait to make his intentions known. Purdue beat out offer by Toledo and Kent State (which isn’t that impressive) but Browne’s recruiting was starting to heat up, with several high major programs in-need of a 2023 sniffing around in recent weeks.
You normally don’t see a quarterback with Browne’s winning credentials and intriguing physical upside this late in the recruiting calendar. Ignore the rankings on this one, Browne is a best case scenario addition to the class of 2023. In fact, fit wise, I like Browne better than former 4* Boilermaker commit (and current LSU commit) Rickie Collins. Browne is walking into a hot quarterback room at Purdue and won’t be asked to play right away. I’m not sure Collins has the patience to wait in line (although don’t get me wrong, he’s a solid recruit with high upside as well).
What He Brings To The Table
Browne reminds me of current Boilermaker and former 4* recruit Michael Alaimo. He’s a big, athletic kid with a live arm in need of seasoning.
My man loves the deep ball and throws it with a silky smooth, effortless release. You don’t see many quarterbacks at his age with this understanding (either innate or coached) of throw trajectory. He’s dropping catchable balls into the bucket for his receivers. There are some stunningly beautiful deep balls in his highlight package, and a few pin point accurate anticipation throws that require him to let the ball go early to a spot on the field, with enough air underneath it for the receiver to catch up. He threw for 2636 yards, 31 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and completed 60% of his passes as a senior on 290 passing attempts. He’s not afraid to sling the ball around the field, but avoids turn-overs. That’s a perfect fit for Purdue’s offense.
On top of his big arm, he’s a plus athlete at 6’5”, 215. He’s mobile in the pocket, and maintains his balance and mechanics on roll out passes. When he gets into the open field, his long legs eat up ground, providing him with long speed once he gets moving. He made a nice pull on the read option at the goal line. Having a mobile quarterback makes defending Purdue in the redzone significantly more challenging. As a senior he rushed for 534 yards and 8 touchdowns on 106 carries. I’ll take a quarterback that averages 5 yards a run any day of the week.
At the next level he’ll need to work on fitting the ball into tight windows (I could have hit a few of his wide open receivers) and working the short and intermediate routes. There are a couple good examples of throws into tight spots in his highlight package, but those will be the vast majority of reads and throws he makes at Purdue. Working the middle of the field and letting receivers get into open windows is a skill most young quarterbacks take time to master, and I’m going to assume Browne is one of those quarterbacks.
Jeff Brohm wants to take a quarterback every recruiting cycle, but after Collins left for LSU, the cupboard for high school quarterbacks was bare. Throw in the fact that Purdue has 2 4* guys waiting their turn, including a redshirting Brady Allen, and the odds were stacked against the coaching staff for the 2023 class.
Browne is at prep school and off the radar for most teams, but schools like Florida State and Wisconsin (lol) were starting to sniff around. At the end of the day, Purdue landed a kid with a winning pedigree and high upside physical skills when it looked like they were going to struggle to fill the quarterback slot. Great work by Brohm and company on this one. Instead of scraping the bottom of the high school barrel, they found a guy that fits what they are looking for in a different barrel.
You may not see Browne on the field early in his career, but if he’s willing to stick around, I think he’ll pay off late. That’s exactly how his high school career played out, and I see a similar path for him at Purdue.
Again, don’t worry about the rankings. This is a good get.