'It sucks': Former Olathe North star QB explains out-of-state transfer

Posted at 3:57 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 12:47:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As students in some KC-area districts strap on shoulder pads for the start of high school football, others are packing up the moving truck.

The latter is true for former Olathe North Eagle Arland Bruce IV, whose transfer to Ankeny High in Iowa became official in time this week.

“Moving out of nowhere. Leaving all my teammates. A lot of people crying,” Bruce said in describing his last three weeks.

Bruce is the reigning Thomas A. Simone Award winner, given to Kansas City’s best high school football player. The University of Iowa commit turned heads as an Eagle, racking up 2,487 rushing yards and 43 touchdowns, leading North to the Class 6A state title game, where they fell just short to Derby.

“We had a good chance at state again,” Bruce said, donning a shirt with ‘Something to Prove’ in bold letters trimmed in his new Ankeny High colors of maroon and gold.

But the 5-foot-10,185 pound tailback says as uncertainty around the 2020 fall HSFB season unfolded in Johnson County, he began connecting with future teammates.

“Me and Brody actually committed at the same time on a FaceTime call,” Bruce said of Ankeny rising senior and Iowa class of 2021 commit Brody Brecht. “That's my guy. We're pretty close.”

Ankeny Head Coach Rick Nelson says his team ‘got lucky.' While Olathe Public Schools mull over how to proceed with football, Iowa plays on, only reducing the regular season schedule by one game.

“If Brody doesn't know him, he's not coming,” Nelson said. “He would have never left his team if they weren't playing,” he continued. “I know that kid. There's no way.”

Olathe Public Schools voted to follow the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment's gating criteria for safe school reopening. The district is currently in zone red, prohibiting in-person classes and athletics.

High-risk sports such as football would be allowed to practice under zone yellow guidelines but not allowed to compete against other schools until green zone criteria is met. (LINK)

“Each of our families has to make decisions that are right for their unique situation and we wish all of our families well,” Olathe Public Schools wrote in a statement to 41 Action News.

“The kid’s very good,” Nelson said of his new weapon on offense. “You could just tell. The first time we hand him the ball just *whistles* like whoa.”

“We're going to benefit but, you know, I'd like to think that we're helping him too,” he finished.

In recent weeks, Olathe North has seen two other Eagles fly the coop. Five-foot-nine,160-pound Rising senior Mario Sanchez relocated to Oklahoma to enroll at Norman HS.

Dale Stout, a two-way athlete who caught passes from Bruce in 2019, is headed to Iowa from Olathe North to enroll at Waukee HS.

Bruce wouldn’t go into detail on the specifics of his transfer, tweeting August 21, ‘I wasn’t recruited, I moved.”

With the addition of Bruce next to friend Brody Brecht, Ankeny HS now boasts one of the more prolific offenses in the state.

“Our offense is scary, [it] reminds me of the Chiefs a lot,” Bruce, who will play tailback and slot receiver, said.

Ankeny HS kicks off its 2020 season Friday, Aug. 28, versus rival Ankeny Centennial. Olathe Public Schools remains hopeful for a return to in-person classes, the first step in a return to football.