HOLES TO FILL ON WILDCATS DEFENSE
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HOLES TO FILL ON WILDCATS DEFENSE

MANHATTAN, Kan. - If a defensive specialist wants to play now, Kansas State is offering plenty of opportunities with its 2012 starting lineup depleted with the graduation of nine starters.

HELP WANTED … NOW!

That was the message sent out by coach Bill Snyder and his staff of assistants when collecting recruits for the 2013 class. Returning from the 2012 11-victory K-State team that advanced to the Fiesta Bowl are Ty Zimmerman at safety and Tre Walker at linebacker, who was injured and missed the second half of the season.

That's it. Two!

Ryan Mueller has experience as a rush linemen, and Blake Slaughter has experience after redshirting last year, but as for every down players, only two return. With nine starting positions to fill on defense, the recruiting 2013 recruiting class announced this week includes six community college signees with five of those being on the defensive side.

The list includes

* Chris Brown, 6-4, 345, Scottsdale, DT … 68 tackles with 13 for a loss … six sacks … originally committed to Washington State

* Devon Nash, 6-5, 260, Iowa Western, DE … helped team to national title … 53rd best juco player in nation … 36 tackles with 4.5 sacks as a sophomore

Nate Jackson, 5-11, 185, College of San Mateo, DB … helped team to a 7-4 record … 9 interceptions during two-year career • Travis Green, 6-1, 210, Iowa Western, DB … helped team to national title … played OSLB and SS … 62 tackles with 7.0 for a loss

Dakorey Johnson, 6-3, 200, Trinity Valley, LB … 82 tackles with seven for a loss and five sacks in two seasons

Of the collection of community college players, Snyder said, "We don't bring community college guys in to sit and watch. We hope that they will come in and make it a competitive environment."

Expected to vie for immediate snaps will be Tanner Wood, a 6-5, 235-pound defensive end/running back from Conway Springs (Kan.) High school.

While rushing for 2,709 yards in his senior year, which included one game of 659 yards and nine touchdowns, Wood will be a first opportunity to play defensive end where K-State lost Meshak Williams and Adam Davis.

Wood recorded 110 tackles in his senior year as a linebacker when he had 88 tackles and three interceptions.

Other notable defensive signees are 3-Star prospects in:

Nick Ramirez, 6-1, 228-pound linebacker, Lee's Summit, Mo. … a three-year starter … 115 tackles as a junior

Cre Moore, 6-0, 175-pound defensive back, Broken Arrow, Okla. … Oklahoma's Top 11 team .. three-year starter … standout sprinter

Isaiah Williams, 6-1, 223-pound linebacker, Dallas, Texas … 68 tackles to lead team to a 14-2 record … posted a prep record of 28-6

Jordan Willis, 6-5, 250 pound defensive end, Kansas City's Rockhurst High School … 58 tackles, 9 sacks as senior … first-team all-Metro Of all the new young players, Snyder said, "Our coaching staff does a very, very fine job of developing young people. We like to bring kids in and make a constant improvement. That's what we talk to them about all the time."

On whether some of the Friday Night Heroes will be redshirted, or not, Snyder said, "All of the young people will have the opportunity to play. So much depends on how you make the transition from high school to a four-year institution, and the competitive nature shown on the field.

"My encouragement from day-one is not to make the decision now," said Snyder. "We hope they will come in and compete as hard as they can, and then see where you might be on the depth chart."

Snyder indicated that the class numbers should up K-State's scholarship numbers to between 78 or 80 (out of 85 the NCAA allows) for the 2013 season.

PROJECTED STARTERS FROM FIESTA BOWL DEPTH CHART

(Does not include any members of the 2013 recruiting class)

DEFENSE

DE – Laton Dowling, Jr
DT – Travis Britz, Soph
DT – Ryan Mueller, Jr
DE – Marquel Bryant, Soph
LB – Blake Slaughter, Sr
LB – Jonathan Truman, Jr
LB – Tre Walker
CB – Carl Miles, Sr
SS – Dante Barnett, Soph
FS – Ty Zimmerman, Jr
CB – Randall Evans, Jr