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Kansas State showcases playmakers in spring football game
4 Bryce Brown
Running back Bryce Brown (4) led the Kansas State Purple in rushing with 73 yards in 13 carries on Saturday during the Purple-White game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

MANHATTAN — The much-anticipated  debut of the Brown brothers turned out to be a sidelight at the Kansas State spring football game Saturday afternoon at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Touted sophomore running back Bryce Brown, one of the top-rated if not top recruits in the nation his senior year at Wichita East High School in 2009, showed his ability to hit holes quickly and a propensity to turn the corner on running plays.

Brown, a transfer from Tennessee who sat out last season after transferring, had 73 yards in 13 carries as the Purple team buried the White 59-16. He had an 11-yard run as his longest, and scored on 2- and 1-yard runs.

John Hubert, who is battling Bryce Brown for the starting running back position, also showed a glimpse of what he’s capable of. He scored on a 44-yard run and finished with 79 yards in eight carries.

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder was more prone to talk about his team’s passing game. Quarterback Collin Klein had 358 yards through the air on 25 of 37 passing and one pick. Coupled with the Purple team’s 209 rushing yards, he had 559 yards of total offense, although it came against a second-team defense for a program that ranked near the bottom in the nation last season during a 7-6 campaign.

“The way I view it is that Collin played well with exception of the one interception,” Snyder said. “I thought Sam (Lamur, another QB candidate, who played for the White) played awfully well with the exception of a few deep balls mistakes.

“Justin (Tuggle, regarded as the No. 3 QB) played well with the exception of an interception.”

Lamur completed 16 of 27 passes for the White team, and Tuggle completed four of six pases for 62 yards.

“I still do not see a great deal of separation. I was just pleased they all took steps forward.”

Wide receiver Tramane Thompson impressed with 106 yards in seven catches and two touchdowns, including 50- and 9-yard scoring catches from Klein.

Wideout Sheldon Smith also had his moments with five catches for 138 yards, including a 61-yard bomb from Klein.

Bryce Brown’s older brother Arthur Brown, a junior linebacker and a transfer from Miami, showed that he will be a force on the team from the heart of the defense. On one play, he came completely across the field to make a tackle on a running back, something that doesn’t occur often.

Defensive end Brandon Herold had a big game for the White with a pair of sacks and also batting down a pass.


Thomas: Goin’ to Miami

Kansas State’s streak of consecutive years with at least one player being taken in the NFL Draft has run to 18 after running back Daniel Thomas was selected in the second round Friday by the Miami Dolphins.

The 18-year streak is currently the third-longest among Big 12 Conference schools, behind only Texas and Nebraska. Thomas, who was taken with the 62nd pick overall in the draft, also became the highest drafted Wildcats running back since 1955 when Corky Taylor was taken in the second round by Los Angeles with the 18th overall pick.

In 2010, Thomas led the Big 12 Conference in rushing for the second straight year and recorded the second-most rushing yards in a season at K-State with 1,585 yards.

 The performance was also a new record for a senior back and ranked eighth nationally, while Thomas led the Big 12 Conference with 19 rushing touchdowns, one shy of the school record, en route to All-America honors.

His 2,850 career rushing yards in just two seasons at K-State rank second all-time in school history, while his 30 rushing touchdowns rank fourth, his 12 career 100-yard performances rank second and his 269-yard outing at North Texas in the 2010 regular season finale was the third-most ever by a Wildcats running back.