Are You Ready for Some Football?

26 Apr

It’s that time of year again. The trees have recovered their leaves and those beautiful little purple flowers, the scurrying of squirrels and birds makes walking around campus a little more entertaining than usual, and there is finally no snow in the forecast. Accordingly, we sports fans and sports writers prepare ourselves for a preview of what is still probably the most popular sport of Kansas State: football. The spring game is on Saturday, and many are anxious for their first look at the new faces of the team.

I have class during the press conferences this semester, but the team’s sports information director sends out a transcript of each one, so here’s the latest that coach Bill Snyder and various players have had to say about the team and its progress.

First of all, the coach said the players did situational scrimmaging – setting up in preparation for different scenarios – for the entirety of Saturday’s practice. He said the quarterbacks threw for 600 yards, collectively, and took steps in the right direction for the majority of the day. Also, it impressed him that the defense held the offense to under 4 yards per rush throughout the scrimmaging, hopefully indicating that the unit will shed its reputation of not being able to defend against the run. He was happy with two groups in particular.

“From an individual standpoint, I was impressed by our second group of wide receivers,” Snyder said. “I also thought Sheldon Smith really stepped up and proved that he can get himself on the field. Torell Miller did the exact same thing as well as Curry Sexton. All three of those guys worked with our twos and really did a nice job in the scrimmage. I thought on the other side of the ball that our linebackers continued to take steps forward. They really played faster throughout the course of the scrimmage and I am pleased with the progress that they have made.”

Maybe the most publicized pair of the players on this year’s team are Bryce and Arthur Brown, brothers from Wichita who transferred to Kansas State from Tennessee and Miami, respectively. According to the online roster, Bryce is a sophomore running back, while his brother is a junior linebacker.

Snyder said Bryce runs well and has really good speed and is developing into a multifaceted player who is improving his blocking and proving that he can be involved in the passing game. However, the other running backs are coming along nicely as well, the coach said.

“I really like the progress that we are making at that position,” Snyder said. “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.”

Junior linebacker Blake Slaughter had good things to say about Bryce’s brother, Arthur, when asked about him last week.

“He is an extremely talented player. He is also [a] quiet leader. He is just a great person to be around and a great addition to the defense.”

Obviously, it’s hard to draw conclusions about the ability of the team as a whole from seeing part of it play against another part of it, but it is a nice opportunity to see what some of the individual players can bring to the table come fall.


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