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Brown a potential pick

By ARNE GREEN

Special to The Hays Daily News

Growing up in Wichita, Arthur Brown never had the typical boyhood dreams about the National Football League or playing in Super Bowls.

Even during the past two years as an All-America linebacker at Kansas State, he seldom watched college or pro games as a fan.

But through it all -- from the youth games to a standout career at Wichita East High School and later at Miami and K-State -- he grew to understand that he had a special gift.

"As a child, I never really had the vision of myself playing in the National football League," Brown said Wednesday on the eve of the NFL draft. "My vision never extended that far.

"But as I continued to be involved in other sports I realized the opportunity that the Lord had provided and it did, at that point, kind of become a goal of mine. At this point in time, it's one that has been possibly fulfilled within the next upcoming days."

Several mock drafts have Brown going today in the first round, while none have him slipping past the second.

The opening round starts at 7 tonight with the second and third rounds scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday and concluding with the last four rounds starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.

While Brown might not have dreamed his entire life about professional football glory, neither did he arrive on draft day as a top prospect by accident.

"I definitely developed a passion and love for the game throughout my time being involved with it for so long," he said. "But I can't sit down and say that I've had a dream about it.

"Maybe I had, but I don't remember it."

What Brown had, particularly in his three years at K-State -- he sat out the 2010 season as a transfer from Miami -- was a drive and determination that drew the admiration of Wildcat coach Bill Snyder. He credited his upbringing for the desire to succeed.

"I would point to my parents' sacrifice through our childhood," said Brown, whose younger brother Bryce was rookie running back with the Philadelphia Eagles last year. "The love and support that they demonstrated and extended to me and my brother throughout our time playing in high school and in college, that definitely kept me going and grounded and driven.

"But definitely, in my time as a young man I have definitely come to know that my true drive and my true identity are rooted within Christ and him being the main focal point of my life. He's no my nucleus and the passion of which I play for."

After two years with limited playing time at Miami and the redshirt season at K-State, Brown made an immediate impact for the Wildcats in 2011. His 101 tackles led the team and earned him both first-team all-Big 12 and conference defensive newcomer of the year honors.

He came back as a senior with 100 tackles, including seven for losses and two interceptions and was named Big 12 defensive player of the year. The Football Writers Association of America named him a first-team All-American and The Associated Press put him on its second team.

Since the end of the season -- the Wildcats went 11-2 and played in the Fiesta Bowl -- Brown kept busy first for two months working out in Pensacola, Fla., in preparation for the NFL Combine, then most of the time since between Manhattan and Wichita.