Kansas State: Primed and Princed

A chance of face means a change of style for the folks in Manhattan. Here, in this Big 12 media day report, CN gets the scoop on Ron Prince's transition in the Little Apple.

For the first time in 18 years, Kansas State has someone calling the shots not named Bill Snyder. The new man in the saddle is Ron Prince. The former Virginia offensive coordinator takes control of a K-State team that reached unprecedented success under Snyder.

 

"I don't use words that many of you will use, such as "replace." I think that's absurd when you have someone who arguably preformed the greatest coaching job of this last century," Prince said.

 

 In fact, there isn't much "replacing" at all in the Little Apple. The ‘Cats return a Big 12 best 18 starters off of last year's 5-6 team that finished last in the Big 12 North.

 

"I'm very intrigued by the players on our team. I'm encouraged by the fact that we have players that have been to these stadiums. They're not in awe of going out there and putting on the uniform," Prince said.

 

Despite the returning experience, pre-season prognosticators are not believers in the Wildcats. The Big 12 media picked them to finish last in the Big 12 North, a position not familiar to K-State.

 

"I'm not for sure why they picked us last," junior Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson said. "We've had a couple down years and a new coach. But that's something they've decided and we don't worry about it too much and just play some football."

 

"We let the pickers pick and the players play," Prince said.

 

Along with Prince, the Wildcats also break in their new NFL style offense with former Green Bay Packers wide receivers coach James Franklin at the helm. They are expected to shift from a quarterback-run heavy offense to a more balanced pro-style balanced attack.

 

"It's an offense that can run and throw the ball, it depends on what the defense wants to give us. I think the coaches will make the right call and we will be able to put up some yards and points," Nelson said.

 

On defense, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer assistant secondary coach Raheem Morris takes over the coordinating duties. The 30 year old Morris inherits a defense that gave up over 28 points a game in 2005, including 45 to Iowa State and 59 to Texas Tech.

 

"There is a lot of NFL type, Tampa Bay stuff in the defense. It's going to be an aggressive, fast defense," senior linebacker Brandon Archer said.

 

"Every team in the conference has a superstar wide receiver. If you don't have players who can run with them throughout the course of the game, they are going to make plays on you," Prince said.

 

So does a fresh breath of air and new life in Manhattan mean another trip to the Big 12 Championship for K-State?

 

"It's the Big 12 conference and anybody can beat anybody. In the North, it's wide open. There are teams that will emerge and be leaders, but right now I think it's wide open," Archer said.

 

Iowa State travels to K-State on October 28th.


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