'Canes a player for burner

While the 2008 recruiting season has officially come and gone, the process never stops. CanesTime is on the 2009 recruiting trail and we are going to introduce you to some of the names and faces you might be seeing often throughout Road to Signing Day 2009. Read on to acquaint yourself with one of the nation's most electrifying players, Wichita East HS (KS) RB Bryce Brown.

Speed. Pure, unadulterated speed.

It is an adjective that is often used to describe Wichita East High School (KS) running back Bryce Brown, scout.com's number one rated player at his position in the country.

Amongst all of the accolades Brown (6-foot, 215 pounds) has received as a sophomore and junior come many comparisons to the all-time greats that have played college football.

Coaches across the country have compared him to some of college football's recent greats like USC's Reggie Bush and Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson – two NFL first round draft choices. However, there may be an even loftier comparison to be made. To a former Auburn Tiger great that knows football – and baseball.

"A lot of coaches say he reminds them of Bo Jackson," Brian Buter, the spiritual mentor and trainer to Brown said. "That is the biggest and best comparison that can be made. Actually, Bo with better feet. I've watched Bo, and when the way he strides when he runs is exactly like Bryce."

Brown is coming off a season where he ran for over 1,800 yards and 26 touchdowns, which earned him the recognition of being the lone junior named to the USA Today Prep All-American Team as well as All-City and All-State honors. With such accolades, comparisons are bound to happen.

Jackson was known for his all-world, Olympic speed on the football field. His highlight reel is a slide show of some of college football's greatest runs - a true clinic on what speed does on the football field, kill.

"His biggest asset is his speed," Butler said. "He has Olympic speed, truthfully. I watch him run the 200-yard dash and I haven't seen it run that fast since Michael Johnson. He has speed to burn. I am sure he would be the fastest back in the country."

With the common ground between the two being speed, there is a bit of a difference between the two that deviate the comparison and it is where you see the comparisons to Bush come into play.

"The great comparison is with the open field speed," Butler said. "But with Bryce, he can make people miss in that open space. He has better feet when it comes to cutting back."

The younger brother of Arthur Brown Jr. – the top linebacker in the country in 2008 by scout.com – Bryce has high expectations to live up to not only at his brothers alma mater, but as a major division one recruit that lived up to the hype during his senior campaign.

"He is the best running back in the country, he is going to accomplish a lot," Brian Butler, spiritual mentor and trainer to both Bryce and his brother said. "I feel if he were in college right now he'd be a top five back. He is a phenomenal athlete, the most impressive I've ever seen. As a sophomore, he was the best back in high school football. That says a lot."

With the rising expectations for one of the nation's elite runners, eyes will be on Brown's ability to maintain and continue the development of his game. While Brown is considered of the nation's best, he isn't yet a complete back.

"The only improvement I believe he needs to work on for the next level will be with his blocking," Butler said. "He is very aware of it, we communicate about it. He hasn't had time yet to work on it greatly, as we work on his speed and agility a lot. However, as the season approaches, we'll have no problem working on that because by the time he gets on the football field, it'll be a big deal and we'll improve on it."

Butler believes that he could put Brown's work ethic and conditioning against any players in the country.

"He has a phenomenal work ethic," Butler said. "Every high school player doesn't work like him. I'd put him against anyone in terms of worth ethic. He goes 100% every single rep, no break, and we work out fast. He has a great frame of mind for his goals and what he wants to accomplish and knows what he needs to do before he gets there."

Brown has put together quite the resume and with it come new goals. Last season, he named a lofty goal for one of his games.

"Last year, against West High, he touched the ball six times and scored five touchdowns," Butler said. "He had over 300 yards in that game. It was one of many that he put on shows. His goal, at least one of them, was to score more time then he was tackled in a game. That was the game where he achieved it."

However, it was another game that made people change their perception about Brown – that he was simply an outside speed back. In one of Wichita East's biggest game of the season, Brown shined. He touched the ball 30 times in a 13-9 victory over Bishop Carroll High School, a team they haven't beat in nearly three decades.

"The game against Bishop Carroll was big, and I don't think Wichita East has beaten them in 20-30 years," Butler said. "Everyone thought he was an outside guy then, but he touched the ball 30 times in that game with a lot of tough, inside runs. It showed people that he can run the ball inside at 215 pounds and can take on most defenders with no problem. That was his breakout game, it is where he led the charge to a win."

With the 2009 recruiting season already under way, Brown holds over 50 offers from the nation's top programs. Prior to signing day, he had already trimmed his list down to 15 schools. Butler believes the following schools stick out amongst the rest; Southern California, Alabama, LSU, Miami, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Texas, and Ohio State.

"He is very similar to his brother in that he wants to go to a successful program that produces National Football League players at his position," Butler said. "Some of the ones he is considering is what he has based off of what he has seen out of the programs. But, as an avid football watcher, he knows what is going on in today's game, who is there at his position, who is coming out early and all of those things. He also needs to feel comfortable at whatever school he goes to."

Brown was able to get a first hand view of the recruiting process as he went on many official and unofficial visits with his brother, Arthur Jr. during his recruitment in 2007.

"He was able to investigate, watch, and observe," Butler said. "He is an analytical person, a real smart kid. He knows what is going on and what he will do throughout the process."

Academically, Brown is in line to graduate early and enroll in the spring. He is primed for a big season as one of the nation's spotlight players.

Canes Time Top Stories