Bryce Brown is finally headed to Kansas State.
ESPN.com reported Wednesday evening that Brown, a former standout at Wichita East, plans to begin classes at Kansas State on Aug. 23. Brian Butler, an adviser to the Brown family, confirmed the report later Wednesday.
Brown’s move to Kansas State has been rumored for weeks.
Brown will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in 2011 after sitting out a year per NCAA rules. His scholarship status remains unsettled.
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Tennessee coach Derek Dooley has said he will not grant Brown his scholarship release from the Volunteers.
The Brown family is fighting Dooley's decision. Brown's father, Arthur Brown Sr., told ESPN he and his son had an appeal teleconference with Tennessee on Wednesday.
"Bryce has tried to express why they should reverse the decision," Brown Sr. told ESPN.com. "We expressed how he has felt. We laid out a lot about our family's struggles with illnesses and stresses. I feel we made a good case for an overturn."
Without the release Brown can transfer, but will have to pay his own way to college for two semesters.
ESPN also reported Wednesday that the NCAA has asked to speak with Brown at Tennessee’s recruiting practices under former coach Lane Kiffin.
A move to Kansas State will allow Bryce Brown to reunite on the football field with his older brother Arthur Brown Jr. A highly touted linebacker himself coming out of East, Arthur Brown decided to transfer from Miami to Kansas State in early March.
As a senior in high school, Bryce Brown was labeled the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit by Rivals.com and was rated as the country’s top running back prospect by Scout.com.
After rushing for 1,872 yards and scoring 30 touchdowns, he was invited to play in the U.S. Army high school All-American Game.
Those eye-popping stats weren’t duplicated during his freshman season with the Volunteers, but he showed promise by gaining 476 yards and scoring three touchdowns on 101 carries.
With the Wildcats, he will likely compete for playing time immediately next year. Starting running back Daniel Thomas has one year of eligibility remaining, and with the workhorse rusher out of the mix, Brown will have the opportunity to succeed him.
Incoming freshman DeMarcus Robinson, a four-star running back prospect out of Wichita Northwest, could be his chief competition.
Bryce Brown will have more than a year to prepare for his return to the field. That time will be much calmer than the years leading up to his first game at Tennessee.
Being one of the top high school recruits in 2009, his recruitment process drew incredible amounts of attention.
He originally committed to Miami, where Arthur Brown played a limited role on defense for two seasons, but never signed a national letter of intent. As time went by, Miami withdrew its scholarship offer and Brown instead signed with the Volunteers after Kiffin was hired as coach.
Brown chose Tennessee over K-State, LSU and Oregon, because he believed its coaching staff would help him develop into a NFL player.
But Kiffin left Tennessee in January to take over at Southern California. Brown did not participate in spring practices, but reports indicated he was considering a return to Tennessee and Dooley for several weeks.
That speculation ended last week, when Brown informed Dooley via text message he was leaving the program.
When Arthur Brown, who was also one of the nation’s top prep recruits as a high school senior, announced his intentions to transfer to K-State in early March, Manhattan emerged as a likely destination for his younger brother.
Both athletes are trained by Butler. Butler also advised former Northwest standout and current K-State wide receiver/quarterback Chris Harper, who transferred from Oregon and will play for the Wildcats next season.
"Kansas State is a very respected program, and Bill Snyder is one of the best coaches in football history,” Butler said last week. “It's a dream for most of our young men to gain an offer from K-State. It's totally up to the kids and their parents on what they want to do, but K-State has everything a young man could be interested in."