HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Freshman wide receiver DeAndre Brown was expected to have a big impact on Southern Miss’ no-huddle spread offense this season, and so far he has lived up to the hype that follows a five-star recruit.

Brown — considered one of the top five receivers in the country by nearly every recruiting service a year ago, when he caught 36 passes for 730 yards at Ocean Springs High School — is off to a solid start for the Golden Eagles.

Through the first four games, Brown is third on the team with 15 receptions. He’s picked up 260 yards, is averaging a team-high 17.3 yards per catch and has scored a pair of touchdowns.

“I’m starting to read what the defense is doing in coverage and adjusting,” Brown said as Southern Miss prepared for Saturday’s 6 p.m. Conference USA home game against UTEP. “I’ve seen a little bit of everything, but the last couple of games it’s been zone coverage. I just have to find the open spots.”

The 6-foot-6 Brown hasn’t had much trouble finding the soft spots in the secondary.

He pulled down four passes and scored on a 29-yard toss from quarterback Austin Davis in his collegiate debut against Louisiana-Lafayette.

His most impressive game thus far came against Auburn’s nationally ranked defense on Sept. 6, when he had eight receptions for 88 yards.

Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville came away impressed.

“That was the best receiver in the country last year,” he said.

“Everybody was recruiting him and he ends up going to Southern Miss. He’s physical and hard-nosed and loves football. It’ll be interesting to see how he plays for the next three or four years.”