SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Here’s a name from Notre Dame’s team to remember – if you can: Equanimeous St. Brown.
Better yet, give yourself a real challenge and try to commit his full name to memory: Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown. Perhaps you’ve heard of him or his two younger brothers, Osiris Adrien Amen-Ra J. St. Brown and Amon-Ra Julian Heru J. St. Brown.
If that’s difficult, you can just call him by the adopted nickname he has been given by the Fighting Irish – “EQ.” That’s certainly easier to say and remember.
The Georgia Bulldogs won’t have to pronounce his name, but they’ll need to know his jersey number – 6 – and where he is on the field at all times when they visit Notre Dame Stadium next fall. St. Brown was a big target for the Fighting Irish last year and he’s expected to be again this year under a new quarterback and a new offensive coordinator.
The 6-foot-4½ , 205-pound St. Brown is the team’s leading returning receiver. As a sophomore last season, the Anaheim, Calif., native had 58 catches for 961 yards and nine touchdowns.
As for his name, St. Brown can thank his father for that. EQ refers to his dad, John Brown, as “a former body-builder,” but he is actually a bit more than that. His father is two-time Mr. Universe and three-time Mr. World weight-lifting champion who has his own clothing line and own line of protein.
He’s also quite creative when it comes to naming his children.
“My dad just wanted me and my brothers to have unique names,” EQ said. “So he just got real creative.”
Turns out, the name is incredibly fitting. It comes from the word equanimity, which means “mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness,” according to dictionary.com. That’s how his Notre Dame coaches and teammates describe St. Brown.
The Fighting Irish plan to find creative ways to get St. Brown the football again this season. They will be operating under new management, so to speak.
Head coach Brian Kelly brought in Chip Long from Memphis to implement a run-pass option-based spread offense. They’ll also be breaking in a first-year starter at quarterback in Brandon Wimbush.
That has made the offseason and this spring pretty intense with all the transition. But as the Irish prepare for their Blue-Gold spring game on Saturday, St. Brown likes what he has seen.
“I think it’s been smooth,” he said. “We already dealt with the change at the beginning of spring ball when you have to put in a new offense. Now it’s running smooth. We’re getting down to little details as a receiver group, making sure we’re aligned right, things like that. Just the little details and fine-tuning.”
There was a lot of concern coming in because the Irish were counting ona first-time starter at quarterback. Wimbush redshirted last season after playing in two games as a backup his freshman season. Last year’s starter DeShone Kizer, opted to turn pro after his redshirt sophomore season, and rising senior Malik Zaire has left seeking a transfer.
But the 6-1, 225-pound Wimbush has allayed concerns with his performance and strong grasp of the offense this spring.
“We didn’t have much to go off of,” Kelly said this week. “But I’ve been impressed. … He runs that offense like he’s been running it for three years. There’s no panic. There’s a calmness. He runs it as if he’s been doing it for quite some time.”
“He’s a great quarterback,” he said. “I’m really pleased. I think Notre Dame is always going to have great quarterbacks no matter what. Brandon has stepped in pretty well.”
The key for the Irish is going to find secondary and tertiary targets. Torri Hunter Jr., their No. 2 receiver with 521 yards on 38 catches last year, left school to pursue professional baseball. But some good candidates have emerged from a long and tal; receiving corps. Among them juniors Miles Brown and Chase Claypool, who are both 6-4, 220.
St. Brown was a nationally-rated recruit who chose Notre Dame over Southern Cal and Stanford “based on football and education and life after football.” He’s a marketing major in the university’s prestigious business school.
As for the Bulldogs, St. Brown doesn’t know that much about them other than they are the second opponent of the season (Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m., NBC) and “most or all of the secondary is returning.”
“That’s really all I know about it,” St. Brown said. “I do know Georgia’s a big football school; I know it’s big in Atlanta. And I know it’s going to be a big game for us.”
For Georgia as well.