Penn State-commit Josiah Brown returns home to Malverne for senior season


He’s coming home.

When Josiah Brown, a four-star wide receiver/defensive back who has committed to playing at Penn State next year, announced he was transferring from Holy Trinity to Malverne High School, it had everybody in the Long Island football community buzzing.

But for Brown, it’s simply a chance to come home and help take care of some business before embarking on his college career.

“It’s an opportunity for me to help the community win a championship,” said Brown, who played for the Malverne Wildcats youth football program.

Now, he gets another chance to play with friends one final time before heading off to Happy Valley.

“It was definitely a pro to play with the people I grew up with,” said Brown. “The energy is already there. That family aspect is there. These are like my brothers…they’re more my brothers than my teammates.”

Before the 6-foot, 170-pound Brown announced his decision to transfer, there were already high expectations in Malverne, the pre-season No. 2 seed in Nassau County Conference IIII. But now, with Brown’s arrival, the bar has been raised. The Malverne Mules are legitimate contenders to win the Conference IIII title and have a chance to bring a Long Island Championship to the community.

For Malverne, that pressure comes with the territory.

“It’s expected to come when you have such a high-profile player, and he’s at a school that has a rich tradition in football,” said Malverne head coach Kito Lockwood, a former star player with the Mules. “It’s fitting. We’re greatly appreciative of the opportunity.”

The 17-year-old Brown is the Class of 2024’s No. 1 recruit in New York State and No. 209 nationally, according to He had more than 20 Division I offers, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma.

Brown, a standout sprinter for Holy Trinity’s track team, is known for his blazing speed, achieving a remarkable 6.38 indoor 55-meter time as a sophomore. That’s equivalent to an average speed of approximately 19.28 mph.

Malverne acquiring a player like the 17-year-old Brown is akin to an NFL team with playoff expectations adding a Pro Bowl game-changing player in free agency. The Mules were already expected to make some noise in Conference IIII, but now it’s like the Jets acquiring Aaron Rodgers.

In Malverne, the eyes are squarely on the prize.

“Before he came, they were still a really solid team,” said Brown. “We know we have a lot of work to do. We keep working hard because you never know what can happen. Everybody sees the hype around us, but we’re not really looking too much into that. We’re focused on getting better each day.”

From a football standpoint, Brown has his sights set on winning a lot of games and lifting a few trophies with his Malverne teammates and coaches. He’s also a leading contender to win the Thorp Award as Nassau County’s most outstanding high school football player.

But this story is about more than just football. This is also about an outstanding student-athlete who amassed a 3.6 GPA at Holy Trinity — a top private school on Long Island — and will graduate from high school early in January.

“He’s a good kid,” said Lockwood. “He has a good family setting and structure. I coached his two older brothers, so it’s not something I’m unfamiliar with as far as he’s concerned.”

That strong family background helped Brown get to this point in his life when he had to make a decision that was in his best interests. His decision to transfer from Holy Trinity to Malverne has certainly garnered differing feelings from the Long Island football community, but Brown has a good head on his shoulders and he’s ready to move forward.

“Everybody is going to have their opinion on it, but I’ve been trained for this by my parents and people that surround me,” said Brown. “It was definitely difficult. I built something over there with some of the coaches. We had a good relationship. It definitely wasn’t an easy way just to leave.”

Brown certainly brings an impressive resume with him to Malverne High School for his senior year, but with his change of scenery, another opportunity to prove himself to his new team comes as well. That process is already underway with off-season workouts.

Nothing is being handed to him. Brown has to go out and earn his playing time just like everyone else on the team.

That’s just the way life works.

“Regardless of what he’s done to get himself to this point, each transition he’s going to have to work and prove himself,” said Lockwood. “He’s been working with the ones on offense, and he’s been working with the twos on defense, so he has to crack his way into the defensive lineup.”

And Brown wouldn’t have it any other way, further proof of the type of player and person that Penn State is getting next year.

“That’s what happens in life,” said Brown. “Nothing is handed to you. You have to go out and get it. I would rather have it like this than any other way because it pushes me to get to another level of my game and helps me focus and work hard to earn a spot.”

This fall, Brown will have his skills on display in front of the Malverne community, including his family and friends. Next fall, he’ll have to prove himself all over again as a freshman at Penn State, hoping to showcase his abilities in front of over 100,000 fans at Beaver Stadium.

He couldn’t be more excited about that opportunity.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Brown, who began practicing with Malverne this week. “It’s that environment and the atmosphere. It’s just ridiculous…the fans are loud. I’m in good hands with the coaches. They have a rich history, and I’m ready to get it rolling after this year with Malverne.”

A year that Josiah Brown and the Malverne Mules hope to culminate by winning some hardware for the school’s trophy case.

Josiah Brown, middle, is practicing with the Malverne Mules. (Credit: Malverne head coach Kito Lockwood)

Top: Josiah Brown during a recruiting trip to Penn State. (Credit: Josiah Brown/Twitter)