I guess I have always just assumed Wichitan and Tennessee transfer Bryce Brown was going to be the 2011 starting tailback at Kansas State. Even as I heard rumblings coming out of Manhattan this summer that Brown was living up to his reputation, I figured it wouldn’t be long before he was.
Perhaps I am guilty of over-estimating Brown. Perhaps many are.
Judging from a Kellis Robinett story about Brown, who recently was chosen to the preseason All-Big 12 team,
in Saturday’s Eagle, it doesn’t appear Brown has a lock to anything, except perhaps to Coach Bill Snyder’s doghouse.
I couldn’t believe some of the things Brown told reporters, and I would guess it’ll be a long time before the media gets another chance for an interview session with Brown.
He did not come across as a guy who is taking his situation serious. He’s a sophomore redshirt with three years of eligibility remaining after playing his freshman season for the Vols. Coming out of high school Brown was considered one of the top running back prospects in the country. He was good at Tennessee and had moments when he was better than good.
But instead of staying in Manhattan this summer with so many of his teammates, Brown said he instead went back and forth from Wichita to Tennessee, although coaches did not approve of that decision. He missed several voluntary workouts, much to Snyder’s chagrin. Anybody who knows Snyder knows the word “voluntary” consists of nine letters that have little meaning.
“Yeah, I did,” Brown told reporters when asked if he had missed some of the “voluntary” gatherings. “I actually missed quite a few. I was here and there, kinda doing my own thing.”
I’ll bet Snyder especially enjoyed reading that. If there’s one thing he gets a kick out of, it’s players who kinda do their own thing.
Brown, from the statements he made in the article, didn’t sound too concerned about how his playing time might be affected by his summer activities, even though Snyder said two other tailbacks – John Hubert and Robert Rose – are squarely in the mix.
Even so, Brown doesn’t sound like he’s in fear of losing a job he might not even have.
“It all depends on me,” he said. “It all depends on how I’m working and how much information I can retain and how I’m performing. Because in the end it’s all about performance and I am very confident in myself that I can be the starting back.”
Brown went on to say how he wants to be a vocal leader for the Kansas State football team, but that’s a role that seems more likely to land with his brother, Arthur, he has made a big splash as a linebacker for the Wildcats. He, unlike his younger brother, has been around Manhattan a lot.
Arthur Brown has said all the right things of late and takes nothing for granted. He’s highly motivated to have a breakout season after struggling for two seasons at Miami (Fla.), where things did not fall together for him. He, as you might expect, appears to be humbled by that experience.
That does not seem to be the case for the 6-foot, 220-pound Bryce Brown, who has been battling some nagging injuries to his ankle and hip. He said he has been concerned about how his body is responding to rehab, so he decided to train his own way.
Again, I can see Snyder cringing as he heard or read about Brown’s comments.
There’s still almost a month before the Kansas State season opener. Brown has already transferred once so there aren’t many options for him. He’s playing for a coach who isn’t going to give him anything based on his reputation. In fact, Snyder has long made due – and very successfully, I might add – with players who aren’t four- or five-star recruits coming out of high school. In many ways, he has always appeared more comfortable coaching those kinds of players.
Brown’s reputation precedes him at Kansas State. Both good and bad. If I were him, I’d be careful about speaking my mind in front of the media the next time he has that chance. If there is a next time.