July 15, 2006

Ready to shine

Kansas State's Brandon Archer and Zach Diles will likely be inseparable on the field this fall with Archer taking over the weakside position and Diles poised to have a monster campaign at the middle spot. The hard-hitting senior duo remains equally as close off the gridiron as well. Archer, who was Diles' big brother when he arrived in Manhattan last summer, still find himself watching after Diles.

"We have a really good friendship," Archer said. "It's really nice."

For Archer, the two-time co-captain, the development of Diles couldn't come at a better time. When the 6-foot, 240-pound Diles arrived from Fresno (Calif.) Community College last summer, Archer immediately took him under his wing. He saw promise in Diles' athletic abilities.

"Last season, Ted Sims was that guy for me," Archer said. "I knew he was going to do his job and get your back and do whatever it takes. Now, this spring, Zach and I have created that bond and trust. That's what we have right now. We developed that over the spring when we got consistent reps with each other. We're hanging out a lot more off the field."

Although their responsibilities differ a bit on the field, Diles, whose 50 tackles were the most of any player in a single season without a start in at least 13 years, still looks to Archer for guidance at times.

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