Spring Ball Brings Player Competition

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State is the last Big 12 team to begin its spring football year and definitely will be the last to finish with the Annual Purple-White game on April 30. As you might guess, there's a method to Snyder's decision.

Not starting on-the-field spring practices until April 6 was by design.

Coach Bill Snyder's thinking was that it gave the Wildcats more days in the off-season program to "gain strength and become better overall athletes."

Has it worked? "I think so," he said. Now on the practice field, a higher level of discipline has been the primary mission statement, along with learning the K-State system.

"We have some young guys making the effort," said Snyder. "We need to learn how to finish. That's not just games, and not just finishing practices, but it's important to learn how to finish snap after snap, and drill after drill."

The Wildcat coach said now is the time to transition what has been learned in the classroom and in group drills, and take it into team drills.

David Garrett is getting snaps at cornerback, while newcomer Nigel Malone of City College of San Francisco is the other name mentioned most at cornerback. Snyder said "seven or eight" guys are in the mix, plus fall transfers in Kip Daily of Blinn College and Allen Chapman of City College of San Francisco.

"We're not as deep as we want to be, so we have David working at two positions," said Snyder. "He can play inside or outside."

Another popular new name to the secondary is safety Tanner Burns, who transferred a year ago from San Jose State.

"He has that swag," said Garrett. "He brings a lot of enthusiasm to the team."

Names surfacing at defensive end are Adam Davis (6-0, 254, Jr) who redshirted last year after transferring from Hutchinson Community College, and, Meshak Williams (6-4, 235, Jr), a transfer from Hutchinson Community College this year.

"He's (Williams) preformed reasonably well for someone new to the system," said Snyder. "He's learning something every day, and improving every day."

And of Adams, the Wildcat coach said, "He's progressing more rapidly than I thought."

It's not official, but Chris Harper says that Bryce Brown is the swiftest of all Wildcats through the 40-yard dash. "Low-low 4.4s for sure, and high 4.3s, maybe. He's moving."

Snyder indicated that there are still three candidates at quarterback with those being Collin Klein, Sammuel Lamur and Justin Tuggle.

And, he mentioned three running back candidates vying to be starters replacing Daniel Thomas: Bryce Brown (6-0, 220, Soph), John Hubert (5-7, 185, Soph) and Robert Rose (5-4, 173, Soph).

While saying most every Wildcat is having good days, followed by mediocre ones, Snyder pointed to defensive end Jordon Voelker (6-3, 240, Sr) as one of the early pleasant surprises.

"He played sparingly a year ago and was done on the depth chart, but he has practiced hard and it's paying off for him, and us," said Snyder. ‘When he's had the chance to go against our ones, he's done a good job."

While taking snaps on both lines, Snyder indicated that Jordan Allred (6-3, 300, Jr) is taking more snaps as a defensive tackle than on the offense line.

Back from an injury-played 2010 season, wide receivers Brodrick Smith and Tramaine Thompson are going through practice, and in Snyder's words, trying to "knock some rust off."

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