Steven West talks grayshirt

Steven West wasn't going to take no for an answer. The 6-2, 195, standout wide receiver from Keller Fossil Ridge High School in the Fort Worth area, saw National Signing Day come and go without any offers. Most players in that situation look at junior colleges, lower division programs, or walk-on opportunities, but West was just getting started.

"Rice had been recruiting me," Steven West said, "but they retracted the offer because they said I took too long. Colorado State told me they had no record of ever offering me even though I still had the document. New Year's Day with signing day coming up I hit ground zero and didn't know what I was going to do."

West has been an outstanding player with close to 2,000 yards receiving the last two seasons in one of the toughest classifications in Texas high school football. West, who plans on majoring in Advertising, became his own PR man with a top-notch highlight reel in hand.

"After signing day I said, ‘all right I'm going to e-mail my film to every school out there and see what happens," West said. "It was an hour after I sent the e-mail when Joe Gordon called me and said he loved what he saw and while he didn't have any scholarships available he would be working to get one for me. A month later they wanted me to come to Manhattan and offered me a grayshirt."

West took his first visit to Kansas State in early March. He was blown away by the experience and with an offer from Coach Snyder.

"When I was going up I thought they were going to want me to run the 40," West said, "but they really wanted to see what type of man I am. I'm so glad I waited and didn't commit to Rice or anybody else, and I was discovered by Kansas State. Basically as a whole, it's about the University not just about the football program. You're a person not just an athlete at Kansas State."

West accepted the offer from the Wildcat coaching staff. When he called to tell his parents, who West says are his biggest cheerleaders, they were dancing in the kitchen.

"I love the coaches, the University, and the football program, and what they stand for," said West of Kansas State. "If it wasn't for Coach Gordon I wouldn't be going there. I owe a lot to him. When I met Coach Snyder, the father of the program, he looked me dead in the eye to see what kind of person I was. He has a strong presence, but I tried my best to keep eye contact with him. He's a nice man, a kind man, who sees his players as people first."

The Fossil Ridge Panthers have just won four games in the past two seasons. West still made plays with 65 receptions, 900 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. He was named 1st team All-District, 1st team All-Area (Tarrant County) and honorable mention All-State in 2010.

"When I was in Manhattan, we went to watch the basketball team," said West. "It was unbelievable to see that kind of fan support. We weren't playing KU or anything. It was Iowa State, and the stands were full. Seeing that meant a lot. We went 2 and 8 this year and didn't have a lot of people coming to our games. It was great to see the love the fans have for the team."

As a grayshirt West will not join as a scholarship player in the fall semester of 2011, but will officially join the team in the spring of 2012. West thinks the extra time to adjust will help him get ready when his time comes.

"I'll be up there June 6th doing what I'm able to do," said West. "I'll be watching film and going to school as a part-time student. In 2012, I think I'll have a great chance to start having been there close to a year. I don't want to be in the shadows and be a role player. My goal is to jump out quick and give them the same player they knew they recruited and make an immediate impact."

Currently, West is competing in track for Fossil Ridge in the 4x1 and 4x2 relays and the 200 meter dash. He was clocked at 4.41 in the 40 at his high school. He'll graduate with his class in June. West wore No. 13 for the football Panthers.

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