The Oklahoman's Super 30: How Beggs running back CJ Brown's athleticism led him to OSU

Jacob Unruh

Beggs coach David Tenison warned CJ Brown about the cost of leaving town for the summer.

Miss the minimum amount of football workouts and a grueling conditioning test awaited. Brown would have to complete it — no matter how many days it took.

It could even slow his path to the football field on Friday nights.

Brown was undeterred. He understood the price.

So, four years ago, he went to Texas to spend the summer with his mom before he started at the high school 33 miles south of Tulsa.

There were no football workouts or conditioning. 

And that was expected to be an issue the first August morning of practice. Brown had to run the test — which included a massive amount of sprints in a certain time period — and pass.

More:What is The Oklahoman’s Super 30? Breaking down the yearly recruiting series

So, he did. On the first try.

“I’m not trying to brag or be big-headed or anything, but everything I’ve done has been pretty easy because of my natural athletic abilities,” Brown said.

That was the day "The CJ Rule” was created. Now, players must attempt the conditioning test for each day they missed.

Tenison still laughs and marvels about that morning. 

“This kid’s special,” Tenison said. “This kid’s not normal. As an incoming ninth grader he can do that. Our times are tough. It’s not like it’s a cakewalk.”

Brown has continued to wow ever since, becoming arguably the state’s top running back behind an uncanny athleticism in his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame. He’s armed with explosive speed and impressive balance. 

That’s why he’s headed to Oklahoma State and ranked No. 9 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings of the state’s top college recruits.

“I just look at myself as an average person,” Brown said.

Beggs running back CJ Brown is ranked No. 9 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings of the state’s top college recruits.

But that’s not how others view Brown.

Tenison learned that quickly when he arrived at Beggs with Brown in the eighth grade. 

Brown could already dunk a basketball. But he didn’t even play basketball. 

As a freshman, Brown was primarily used in a mop-up role as a running back while Beggs advanced to the Class 2A state championship game. He did work his way onto special teams by midseason, becoming the team’s primary kick returner.

While leading Beggs to the state semifinals last season, he averaged nine yards per carry as he totaled 1,529 yards and scored 24 total touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes and averaged 9.1 yards per reception.

“CJ’s one of the most insanely athletic kids that I’ve ever been around,” Tenison said. “His athleticism is just crazy.”

And Tenison will never forget that August morning four years ago. 

That was the day he truly realized a special athlete was coming. He also questioned the makeup of the conditioning test he brought from his days at Jenks. 

It had made the top athletes at the powerhouse weak.

This time, it was no match for a freshman. That hasn’t been the case since.

Blame "The CJ Rule.”

“I didn’t think I’d be able to do it the first time either, the way they were explaining it,” Brown said.

He paused and pondered the rule.

“Honestly, I feel bad for everybody else that doesn't get the opportunity that I got,” Brown added.

Jacob Unruh covers college sports for The Oklahoman. You can send your story ideas to him at or on Twitter at @jacobunruh. Support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

More:A look at The Oklahoman's 2022 Super 30 high school football recruiting series

Beggs running back CJ Brown accounted for 1,529 total yards and 24 touchdowns last season.

The Oklahoman’s 2022 Super 30

Name: CJ Brown | School: Beggs

Super 30 ranking: No. 9

Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 180 pounds

Position: Running back

Committed to: Oklahoma State

The Oklahoman’s Super 30:How Choctaw’s Desean Brown went from unknown to one of state’s top pass rushers

About the series

The Oklahoman’s Super 30 feature series will spotlight each high school football player on the Super 30 recruit rankings for the 2022 class. The series continued Sunday with No. 10, Mustang's Andre Dollar and No. 9 Beggs' CJ Brown. See No. 8 on the list in Sunday’s edition of The Oklahoman. Here are the last five players featured:

No. 13: Cade McConnell, OL, Choctaw

No. 12: Gabe Brown, LB, Stillwater 

No. 11: Desean Brown, DE, Choctaw

No. 10: Andre Dollar, TE, Mustang

No. 9: CJ Brown, RB, Beggs