Tag Archives: Bryce Brown Kansas State

Significance of Summer

24 Oct

Early on this season, coach Bill Snyder spoke somewhat incredulously about how some of the players thought that voluntary workouts were optional. As all athletes know, “voluntary” actually means “voluntary if you’re not willing to make the team your first priority and are cool with sitting on the bench.” Running back Bryce Brown got flak for skipping out on some of these, and though he initially seemed committed to trying to make his way back up the depth chart, he only got a few snaps in some early games. Then, rumors surfaced that he had been seen in Tennessee and was no longer with the program.

While I haven’t heard any actual confirmation of this – and quite honestly, it seems rather short-sighted to make it a big point of discussion when the Wildcats are doing as well as they are – I did notice that Bryce Brown is no longer listed on the Wildcats’ roster on kstatesports.com. It goes directly from his brother, linebacker Arthur Brown, to wide receiver Ed Brown.

It might have been possible for Brown to recover from that rough start of not spending time with teammates over the summer in workouts, but that breaking down and building up experience together is not one that is easy to replace. Here’s what tight end Travis Tannahill – not speaking about Bryce Brown or anyone in particular – had to say about summer work. First of all, he said he agreed with Snyder that the attendance was less than pleasing.

“It’s not all about conditioning. A lot of it’s about proving to your teammates that you’re bought into the program, that you’re willing to be here in Manhattan and not back home. I can go back home and work out and come in in shape, but I’d rather be here with my teammates in the 110-degree heat on the turf. I think that means a lot to show your teammates that you’re willing to live in Manhattan, Kansas, in the summer and go through the workouts at 6 a.m. and what not. A lot of it’s just showing to your teammates [rather] than the conditioning of it.”

Running under the Radar

28 Sep

Voters did not elect John Hubert to the Preseason Big 12 roster, and he did not pique fan interest in nearly the same capacity as a certain Tennessee transfer. Yet, three games into the 2011 season, Hubert has quietly earned the starting role in the Wildcats’ rushing offense.

What exactly gives the 5-feet-7-inch, 185-pound Hubert the advantage over teammates Angelo Pease, Robert Rose and Bryce Brown?

Coach Bill Snyder declines to be overly specific about that, but he did speak to how Hubert’s height serves to help him as a running back.

“He’s a little bit bigger lower body than he is upper body; he’s got good leg strength,” Snyder said. “When he is low, he can gain a leverage advantage. It’s kind of like when offensive and defensive linemen react to each other: low pads wins. That’s the common terminology, and that’s kind of true in everything. You have better leverage and therefore greater strength if you play a little bit lower, and it’s easy for him to play low. I think that’s the strength advantage he has.”

Against Miami, Hubert ran for 166 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He busted one run for 47 yards and averaged 9.2 yards per run in the game.

With all the talk about Bryce Brown and why he hasn’t had playing time, or even whether he will stay or go, Hubert competes in relative anonymity, with little fuss or fanfare surrounding his impressive play. If he continues that way, it doesn’t seem like Brown or anyone else will be taking over anytime soon.

Getting the Runaround

31 Aug

Wildcat fans need wait only three more days – including today – before heading back to one of the most beloved places in Manhattan: Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Instead of cheering on Daniel Thomas this season, the object of fans’ attentions will be …. well, one of four people, most likely. Although the team released a depth chart yesterday, head coach Bill Snyder is less than reassuring when it comes to that paper’s validity going forward.

“We’ve had 35 percent of all the practices that we will have for the entire year already, and we still haven’t made that choice,” Snyder said of the starting running back position, “so they may be – and may continue to be – competitive throughout the course of the year.”

As of now, transfer Angelo Pease is listed as the starter, followed by John Hubert, followed by Bryce Brown. And yet, the first running back Snyder described during Tuesday’s press conference was Robert Rose, who was not listed on the depth chart, and he compared the 5’4″ sophomore to legendary Wildcat Darren Sproles.

“I think Robert, even though he’s the smallest of the group, really is kind of a difficult guy to find,” Snyder said. “Remember how Darren was, and we always spoke to the fact that Darren was just a hard guy to find. Now he had ability and talent to go along with it, obviously, and so does Robert, but you put those big six, seven guys in there battling each other and he waddles between their legs. And he’s got good quickness, good movement as well.”

Of course, the coach also sees good aspects of the position from Hubert.

“John is a good movement young guy, changes directions maybe not quite as quick as Robert but still has good quickness, good change of direction,” Snyder said. “Both of them, even though they’re not very large, they do have some explosiveness to them and are not unpowerful runners.”

And then, oh yes, that guy who was ranked as one of the top recruits in the country just a few short years ago (Bryce Brown), and junior college transfer Angelo Pease, who came from Hutchinson Community College and is listed first on the depth chart, as previously mentioned.

“Angelo and Bryce bring a little bit more speed to the position,” Snyder said. “They’re a little bit bigger and just by nature of the structure, perhaps they’re a little bit more physical.”

It is not that Snyder does not want to make a decision; his preference would be to have one specific starter and a backup that would provide a change of pace, he said. That aside, running back may still be a fluid position. However, it will eventually be less fluid than it apparently is now.

“We can’t allow it to be four guys during the course of the season,” Snyder said. “We have to make some definitive selections and kind of go with it. That doesn’t mean that all of them can’t get on the field, and it doesn’t mean that all of them won’t, but it’s not going to be by a four-man committee, that’s for sure.”

Involuntarily Voluntary Practices

28 Aug

During the offseason that followed Kansas State’s run to the Pinstripe Bowl, one of the favorite conversation topics for Wildcat football fans has been running back Bryce Brown. A native of Wichita and transfer from Tennessee, Brown has been thought to have tremendous upside, even such that he will be able to help fill the void left by All-American rusher Daniel Thomas. Then came the summer, and then came some questions.

Apparently, Brown put himself in the doghouse to a degree by not participating in the voluntary summer workouts. Of course, if you look at the strict definition of the word voluntary – “done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one’s own accord or by free choice” – you would think that Brown did not do anything so wrong.

Yet the fact Brown did not take the opportunities to bond with his teammates and improve alongside them did not impress Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. It is clear that though the word voluntary is attached to practice, missing out on those sessions is not advisable. That being the case, it could be said that the phrase “voluntary practices” is a misnomer and could be confusing for players … if a player happens to live under a rock.

Practically speaking, there is no confusion. If you want to ensure yourself a roster spot, you go and bust your behind at any and every opportunity, whether it is in the weight room or on the field. Goodness, seven years ago as an 8th-grader, I knew that if I wanted to be a starter, those “voluntary” practices were anything but optional. Basically, practices are voluntary if you’re volunteering to sit on the bench.

While I’m sure the demands on the time of student-athletes are significant even with the required activities, and while I know it must be wearisome for those demands to extend to the summer months and through various breaks from classes, playing on a team as a whole is a voluntary activity. However, I would say it is also a privilege. I’m sure Bryce Brown has come to that conclusion already, and it will be intriguing to see what he comes to the field with on Saturday.