Also See: Baseball Takes On Oklahoma State
BROWNS TO TAKE CENTER STAGE SATURDAY
By Mark Janssen
The most ballyhooed brother combination in Kansas State football history will dig their cleats into the Bill Snyder Family Stadium turf today at 1:10 p.m. for the Annual Purple-White Spring Game.
Wearing No. 4 will be 6-0, 220-pound sophomore running back Bryce Brown, while No. 46 will be the jersey number of 6-1, 223-pound junior linebacker Arthur Brown.
Arthur was a Prep All-American, ranked as the No. 23 player in the United States and the No. 1 player in Kansas after his senior season in 2007.
Bryce was listed as the No. 1 running back and overall prospect in the nation after his All-American senior season in 2008.
"It is quite obvious that he is a very fine player," said head coach Bill Snyder. "He runs well and has really good speed and is developing into a multifaceted player. He is improving on his blocking capabilities. He can be involved in the passing game; he is proving his skills there."
On Brown's side to produce big numbers earlier than Daniel Thomas is the fact that he has always been a running back, while Thomas came to K-State as a quarterback, and, he has been in the program for a full season on the scout squad.
"When Daniel (Thomas) came during the summer, he did not have anyone to coach him during the workouts other than our players, so it was kind of a crash course for him," said Snyder. "Bryce comes in having spent a season with us in a redshirt capacity and has learned a lot. He is ahead of Daniel when Daniel started his first season, but even at that, a vast majority or Bryce's time was spent on the scout squad, so that does limit the learning process. But he is a sharp young guy and picks it up very well."
High on his offensive teammate is freshman center BJ Finney: "Bryce is a wonderful runner. We just have to get him a crease and let him do what he does. As long as we continue to improve as an offensive line, he's going to improve as a running back. He can be pretty good."
While others point to Brown's speed and size as his most impressive trait, Finney says, "I like his patience. We're trying to replace three spots on the line, which is not easy. We're still trying to find the chemistry, but he's always telling us 'good job.' "
On his own brother's style as a running back, Arthur Brown said, "Bryce is pretty much a complete back. He is fast and he is powerful, so he can go outside or he can go inside. I have played with a lot of great running backs and I consider him to be a great one."
While most are handing the starting running back position to Brown, Snyder stops short of that.
"He is in a really competitive battle," said Snyder. "I really like the progress that we are making at that position. He is the fastest of the group and more physical than the other two at least in stature to John Hubert and Robert Rose. Robert (Rose) has really come into his own, but we saw that last year when he worked on the scout team. All three of them are really competitive right now."
Hubert (5-7, 182, Soph.) is a product of Waco, Texas, where he broke the prep rushing records set by NFL Pro Bowler LaDamian Tomlinson. Hubert rushed for 1,747 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior, followed by 2,524 yards as a senior.
Rose stands only 5-4 and weighs 173 pounds. The sophomore is a native of Miami, Fla., where he was a 2006 All-Dade County 6A-4A honorable mention pick at running back by the Miami Herald.
While most are looking at Bryce Brown as the Wildcats' top dasher, the same can be said for his older brother at linebacker.
Most, but not Arthur, who modestly says, "I never really look at myself as 'the guy.' I am part of a team and we are a unit so I always put the focus on the team. I know that there will be a lot of high expectations for me as well as the team, but I look forward to going out there and demonstrating what God has given me ... the ability to be a good linebacker and to represent Him."
Heading into today's spring game, Brown says, "All I know is that it is going to be exciting. The fans bring a little bit more enjoyment to the game as well as more energy and excitement. I really appreciate our fans a lot from what I have seen over the past year, so I am really looking forward to this season."
Of the Brown brothers, Snyder said, "They are quiet young guys who go about with their business and do their classroom work. They do it all and do it the right way. They have endeared themselves to the players and the program.
"We have what I would consider to be a very tight group in the collective 103 players that we have in spring practice," said Snyder. "I think they are a part of that group. There is a lot of hoopla about them and they have handled that extremely well."
NEWCOMERS TO WATCH ON SATURDAY:
4 - Bryce Brown, 6-0, 220, Soph., RB
6 - Tate Snyder, 5-11, 223, Fr., LB
9 - Justin Tuggle, 6-3, 227, Jr., QB
15 - Randall Evans, 5-11, 172, Fr., CB
21 - Nigel Malone, 5-10, 176, Jr., CB
28 - Robert Rose, 5-4, 173, Soph., RB
29 - Tanner Burns, 6-1, 181, Jr., S
46 - Arthur Brown, 6-1, 223, Jr., LB
63 - Marcus Heit, 6-2, 233, Soph., LS
66 - BJ Finney, 6-4, 297, Fr., C
67 - Shaun Simon, 6-0, 337, Soph., C
78 - Cornelius Lucas, 6-8, 331, Soph., OT
TICKETS: One can't beat the $5 price. Fans are encouraged to park in the west lots as seating inside the stadium will be limited to the west and south end zone sections. Suite holders on the east side will have access to their suites for the game.
Parking lots open at 10 a.m. and stadium gates at 11:30 a.m.
ON THE AIR: The game will be broadcast by nine Kansas radio stations located in Beloit, Chanute, Clay Center, Kansas City, Manhattan, North Fort Riley, Salina, Topeka and Wichita/Winfield.
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