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Sunday, August 14, 2011

K-State has gaping void at RB

Soph Bryce Brown to replace workhorse Daniel Thomas

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This story is part of the KU Edition, a special section that runs in the Lawrence Journal-World.

Wildcats at a glance

Coach: Bill Snyder

Coach year at school: 19th

2010 record: 7-6 overall, 3-5 Big 12

Last year vs. KU: The Wildcats trounced the Jayhawks, 59-7, on a Thursday night in Lawrence, giving them back-to-back wins against the Jayhawks.

Returning starters: 11

Impact newcomers: Bryce Brown 6-0, 215, RB; Arthur Brown 6-2, 227, LB.

Key games: Sept. 24 at Miami (Fla.); Oct. 8 vs. Missouri; Oct. 22 at Kansas.

Vs. Kansas: Oct. 22 in Lawrence.

When the Kansas State football team opens the 2011 season, it will take the field without a backfield luxury that often swung the pendulum of momentum in the Wildcats’ favor.

The Daniel Thomas era is over in Manhattan.

“It remains to be seen if we will be a better football team when we get started in the fall,” KSU coach Bill Snyder said at Big 12 media days in Dallas.

It doesn’t take extended study hours to understand the impact Thomas had on the KSU offense.

That’s because he basically was the offense. In 2010, Thomas accounted for 66.4 percent of the Wildcats’ rushing yards (1,555). The 19 touchdowns didn’t hurt, either.

In two seasons in Manhattan, Thomas totaled 2,850 rushing yards and 30 scores.

The good news for K-State: It has a pretty good idea who will replace Thomas, taken in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins in April.

The bad news for K-State: The replacement doesn’t carry much Div. I experience.

Bryce Brown, a sophomore transfer from the University of Tennessee, is expected to see the bulk of the carries this fall. Brown’s collegiate resume may read only 101 carries for 460 yards in 2009 for the Volunteers, but K-State fans are hoping his ceiling is loaded with untapped potential. Brown was Rivals.com’s No. 1 recruit in the country in the Class of 2009.

Junior Collin Klein will take over at quarterback for a KSU offense that ranked third in the Big 12 last season in scoring offense (33.6 points per game). Klein, who last season was a scramble-first quarterback, turned heads in the spring game, when he completed 25 of 37 passes for 358 yards and five touchdowns.

Klein will have a returning starting wide receiver in junior Chris Harper, along with junior Brodrick Smith (left leg injury in 2010) and sophomore speedster Tramaine Thompson (ankle injury in 2010), both healthy this fall.

“I do think we stand a chance to have far greater depth than what we have had,” Snyder said.

What truly could define K-State’s season is the effectiveness of its defense, particularly the line. The Wildcats allowed 231.4 rushing yards per game last season, worst in the Big 12 and second-worst in the country.

Junior defensive Brandon Harold, a former freshman All-American, must realize his potential.

K-State’s defense could receive an added boost from junior linebacker Arthur Brown, who sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules after playing two seasons at Miami (Fla.).

Arthur is the older brother of running back Bryce Brown. Both are natives of Wichita.

Arthur, already voted a team captain by his teammates, thrived in the spring and summer under the tutelage of Snyder.

“He’s very inspiring,” Arthur said of Snyder. “Not only listening to him, but watching his work ethic. Seeing how he works and how he’s committed to us as a team and also as individuals really has helped me and driven me to become a better leader.”

The preseason Big 12 Conference media poll picked K-State (7-6 overall, 3-5 Big 12 in 2010) eighth in the conference.

The Wildcats’ most challenging nonconference game will take place on Sept. 24 at Miami (Fla.).

Comments

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

“I do think we stand a chance to have far greater depth than what we have had,” Snyder said.

I thought I read that they have 60-something scholarship players. That sounds to me like a distinct lack of depth, but then his was a comparative statement.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

If a gaping hole means you are going to start the 2009 number 1 recruit that averaged over 4.5 yards a carry as a freshman in the sec...

Cole Hogan 9 years, 3 months ago

for once in his life...he gets a '+1' fpr that comment, honestly LJW, what gaping hole?

Kevin Studer 9 years, 3 months ago

That's exactly what I thought when I saw the headline. Doesn't "gaping hole" suggest that there isn't legitimate talent there to fill it?

waywardJay 9 years, 3 months ago

Somewhere in here should be the mention that While Arthur Brown is performing as Expected.... at Line Backer.

There have been reports out of Lesser Fort Riley ( or is it Western Wamego ?), that Bryce Brown has had a bit of character issues. That the camp that Frank Runs is routinely one of the more quiet camps in the big 12, and that despite Bryce's potential at Running back, it certainly will not be easy for any team to cover K-state with decent Corners and decent coverage linebackers......

This, of course, does not mean Bryce will not be game ready.... it just means that while he's incredibly talented, his quarterback is not believed to be.....

Again, If this was Daniel Thomas, * and 9 men fronts in the box would not be much of an issue, because let's face it Daniel Thomas needed three Jayhawks to tackle him Whether it be Mangino's defense or Gill's Defense.... I would be considerable more worried about K-state.... But it's not. It's an extremely talented back who is elusive but not particularly prone to contact ( from the reports I have heard )

So, against a Stout Defense.... This kid will likely run into Brick walls.... NOt through them like ...say.... Daniel Thomas.

It's too bad the teams that Will have proven stout defenses ( Oklahoma/Texas/AM ) are mostly after K-state returns trip to Lawrence.... there are two games that stick out in my memory as having potential to hamper this young RUnning back..... The game on the road in Miami ( a month out ) and the Game at Home against Mizzou ( a week ahead of T-squared get's them in Lubbock ) could have potential for a running back to not only get frustrated by a stiff defense......but potentially injured, considering their lack of Depth at his position... It certainly COULD prove to be a crater the size of any on the Moon......

It would be beneficial to have a proven Quarterback to rely upon in those situations, but K-state has lacked a dependable Quarterback since Frank Returned...... SO despite Receivers with skill, there might not be anyone to deliver them the football ......My only real worry here is that K-state gets blown out a couple times and doesn't run the football too much.... The more Carries this kid gets the better in my humble opinion.... the more potential for him... If reports are true, he will not necessarily be playing in great condition, and likely will be running into brick walls from week 1......

Let's hope he's afraid of getting hit....

waywardJay 9 years, 3 months ago

It certainly will be easy for teams with decent cover corners to cover K-state receivers..... Was what I meant.

hometownhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

As far as personnel situations, such as this, that have changed in the past month, the LJW staff is just mailing these football stories in. It's painfully obvious that they didn't even bother to read them one last time before sending them to print.

rastameta 9 years, 3 months ago

Also, as of a few days ago Bryce Brown was third string. Definitely not doing their research before it goes to print, but then again that is all on the Editor, who in this case is Keegan.

rastameta 9 years, 3 months ago

Have to find an article in the Hutchinson paper that actually has the RB situation correct at K-State.

http://hutchnews.com/Ncaa/0813-brown

vd 9 years, 3 months ago

He will be the starter when conference comes around. LCBS number one position is to win at all costs. Remember Ell Roberson? Use em and throw em away, the Snyder way. He will be 100% and healthy.

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