Arthur Brown is what you want in a potential star-talent.
Athleticism: Packing 225 pounds on his 6-foot-0 frame, Brown benches 345 pounds, squats 540 and whizzes through the 40 in 4.5 seconds.
"He has great closing speed. He can go from 0 to 60 like a Ferrari," said linebacker coach Chris Cosh of his middle linebacker out of Wichita East High School and transfer from the Miami Hurricane program. "He just has cat-like quickness, plus he also has a nose for the football."
Coach Bill Snyder added, "I always like young people that can do it, and Arthur does it." Attitude: Yes, Brown knows that he's an A-plus athlete, but his attitude toward improving on that God-given talent is just as good: "My reaction time, speed and strength are my strong points. The game is all about speed and I'm trying to improve on my speed and improve on reading the blocker a bit faster, too. I'm a perfectionist, so I challenge myself all the time to be better."
Personality: "Quiet and unassuming" is how Snyder defines Brown. "He's just a splendid young guy who comes from a solid background."
But, Brown is trying to make that personality stronger: "I'm not out-going, but I'm trying to become a better leader on the field. I'm not the most verbal person, but I'm working on it."
Those leadership skills drew an immediate impact with his K-State teammates as he was voted a team captain without having played a game.
"Now that's pretty special when you haven't played a game," said Cosh. "It shows he made good use of his time in developing relationships and working hard on the scout team last year. That's a place where you can go waste a year, or, you can use the time to get better. He worked hard every day and was voted a captain. I promise you, that's not just a popularity contest. You have to show something in practice." Ranked the No. 1 linebacker in the country out of Wichita East High School in 2007, Brown packed his duffle bags for the Miami Hurricane program where he played in spot duty in 2008 and 2009.
Saturday in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Miami's Sun Life Stadium, Brown will return to his first football home as Kansas State puts its 2-0 record on the line against the 1-1 Hurricanes.
While Brown did not attend Tuesday's press conference, teammate Curry Sexton said of Brown's return home: "Arthur is just going about his business like he does every other day. I am sure that he has a little fire inside of him that is burning a little harder this week, but other than that Arthur is just an even keel guy.
We are not worried about Arthur or any distractions that he might have." Snyder added, "I'm sure Arthur is excited about it, but Arthur looks forward to playing every week."
With a total of only 17 tackles in two seasons with Miami, today Brown politely declines to discuss what prevented him from having a stellar career with the Hurricanes.
"Arthur is a very, very fine player, but they had as awfully lot of very, very fine players," said Snyder. "I don't think it was a lack of success, but he was just a young pup. Now he's had time to mature mentally and physically."
Of his mini-career at Miami, Brown said during the Big 12 Media Day, "I would not call it a mistake at all. It was just a learning experience."
Brown has been learning the game of football for a long, long time. The legend of Arthur Brown started as a 7-year-old when he tackled his 6-year-old brother (Bryce, now a KSU teammate) so hard that it knocked him out for a few moments.
Even earlier than that one hit, the Brown brothers made the Wichita little-tot ranks take notice by playing in the 4th-grade league when they were only in the first and second grades. "We held our own," Brown said with a reflective smile.
And they've been more than holding their own ever since.
At East High, Brown averaged 15 tackles and one sack per game as a senior, and 13 arrests per game as a junior.
"He was amazingly quick to the football," said KSU teammate Tysyn Hartman, who played against Brown when he played quarterback for Wichita Kapaun High School. "He got to the ball so quick and once he got his hand on you, you were going down."