BROWN THRILLED TO BE A WILDCAT
Questions varied from, How'd you get that scar on your face? "I fell off a bicycle when I was little and hit my head," to, Were you a Wildcat fan as a little kid? "I never really engaged in watching football, I just liked playing." And then Chris Harper, a graduate of cross-town rival Wichita Northwest High School, had his turn with Arthur Brown stories. The current wide receiver said of his youth days playing against Brown, "He hit me one time. (Pause ... and a smirky smile) It was a good experience." And, Harper told the tale of Arthur once tackling his younger brother Bryce so hard as a 6- or 7-year-old that it knocked the younger brother out. Overall, Arthur Brown handled the media's assault of straight fastballs, mixed with a dipsy-doodle curve ball question in a manner that would have made coach Bill Snyder proud. All answers were of a team-first, me-second tone, with Brown ducking and dodging any hint of controversy like an on-coming blocker. Opting first to attend Miami because of the coaching staff, school tradition and atmosphere, Brown soon missed the calmness of Kansas and the closeness with his family. After playing a combined 23 games at Miami in 2008 and 2009 when he posted a modest total of 17 tackles, Brown chose to leave the team and ask for his release to transfer to another school. "I didn't reach out to any school for a while, but then coach (Bill) Snyder reached out to me a little bit, and gradually K-State became my choice," said Brown. "But I did spend some time to reflect and refocus myself." Snyder said of the decision, "I don't know who made the first phone call, but it was a mutual thing." On his two years playing as a Miami Hurricane, he said, "I enjoyed my time, learned a lot, but now I'm just happy to be here." What prevented Brown from more success than he had hoped at Miami? Casting no stones, Brown simply repeated, "I enjoyed my time, learned a lot, and experienced a lot, but I'm glad to be here." Here, is K-State, where his brother Bryce, is also playing after transferring from Tennessee. "We've played together since second grade, so to come together in college and still have the opportunity to play together is going to be great for me, my brother and my family," said Brown. And how's little brother doing? "He's doing excellent," Brown said. Pressed further, he added, "He has speed, power and quickness." Oh, and who would win that open field meeting between Arthur the linebacker and Bryce the running back? "I thought I'd hear that one," Brown said with a smile. "You'll have to wait and see on April 30." That's the date of K-State's spring game with few being more eager to play in than Brown after sitting out the 2010 season as a scout team member after his transfer from Miami. He said the 2010 season was "dragging" at the start, but at the same time allowed him time to "gradually take things in" as to the K-State way of doing things. Snyder said Brown "... played well as a scout squad guy where you're constantly playing off the seat of your pants. You're trying to incorporate the opponent's system, and then moving to a new system the next week and week in and week out." Brown admitted that several games, like the game with Nebraska when K-State allowed 587 yards of total offense, were "frustrating" to watch in a season where K-State allowed 231 rushing yards and 446 yards of total offense per game. While Brown appears to be a for-sure starter at middle linebacker, he was well coached as to who the other two linebackers might be: "That's up to coach Snyder," he answered. As to what K-State fans might see from Brown in the spring game? Again, the answer had to do with "team" K-State. "Right now I am preparing to better myself in every area, as far as studying and knowing my assignments, as well as the rest of the defensive unit's assignments. We are working together as one to accomplish one goal." While Brown declined to talk about himself, teammate David Garrett said, "He gets to the ball very well, but I knew that from last year. He is making it really easy on the defensive backs because he cleans up stuff and he hits the right holes. I think that he will be a great asset to the team this year." FASTEST WILDCAT: It's not official, but Chris Harper says that Bryce Brown is the swiftest of all Wildcats through the 40-yard dash. "Low-low 4.4s for sure, and high 4.3s, maybe. He's moving." TRIO OF 'CATS: Snyder indicated there are still three candidates at quarterback with those being Collin Klein, Sammuel Lamur and Justin Tuggle. And, he mentioned three running back candidates vying to be starters replacing Daniel Thomas: Bryce Brown (6-0, 220, Soph), John Hubert (5-7, 185, Soph) and Robert Rose (5-4, 173, Soph). BRIGHT SPOT: While saying most every Wildcat is having good days, followed by mediocre ones, Snyder pointed to defensive end Jordon Voelker (6-3, 240, Sr) as one of the early pleasant surprises. "He played sparingly a year ago and was down on the depth chart, but he has practiced hard and it's paying off for him, and us," said Snyder. 'When he's had the chance to go against our ones, he's done a good job." ALLRED TO DEFENSE: While taking snaps on both lines, Snyder indicated that Jordan Allred (6-3, 300, Jr) is taking more snaps as a defensive tackle than on offense. BACK AND GOING STRONG: Back from an injury-plagued 2010 season, wide receivers Brodrick Smith and Tramaine Thompson are going through practice, and in Snyder's words, trying to "knock some rust off." LATE START: Not starting on-the-field spring practices until April 6 was by design. Snyder's thinking was that it gave the Wildcats more days in the off-season program to "gain strength and become better overall athletes." Has it worked? "I think so," he said. Now on the practice field, a higher level of discipline has been the primary mission statement, along with learning the K-State system. "We have some young guys making the effort," said Snyder. "We need to learn how to finish. That's not just games, and not just finishing practices, but it's important to learn how to finish snap after snap, and drill after drill." The Wildcat coach said now is the time to transition what has been learned in the classroom and in group drills, and take it into team drills. We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. 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