Kansas State is recruiting a Tight End that has not caught a pass since middle school and K-State is not the only school that has taken a keen notice of this Lonestar standout. With numerous scholarships offers already in hand, schools like Air Force, Texas Tech, Arkansas, McNeese State, TCU, Navy, Rice, Northwestern, Wyoming – and Kansas State are watching the 6-foot-4, 240 pound senior from Cypress Woods High School.
Ok so here is the deal, Cody Small is talented. Talented enough that he turned heads playing at defensive end last year, where he was used to pester and disrupt quarterbacks off the edge before making the switch this year to Tight End. Already good size at 6-foot-4 and growing, Small's speed is what makes him a great Division I prospect and he is quickly gaining a great deal of attention. Small told me he ran a forty recently at a camp in the 4.5 range.
Although he has not made to official switch to tight end, Cody has been playing the position this summer and at all the camps he has attended. He has great size and athleticism and has played DE on the past two Wildcat teams- both of which made it to the state quarterfinals.
Asked if he currently has something in his game that he would like to work on or improve? Cody says he can use his size a little more.
"I am still learning the position. I am picking things up but I can probably use my size more and make a bigger improvement in our passing game by using my size and strength."
Playing on a relatively new school in Cy-Woods, Cody Small is one of the players that have put his school on the map, beating schools like Dallas Skyline that are the gold standard in high school football in Texas 28-21 in the 2009 semifinals.
So how did Small eventually make his way to Tight End from Defensive End?
"I played some Wide Receiver in 9th and 10th grade and then when I moved to Varsity in 10th grade they moved me to defensive end. We did not have a defensive end at the time so that was where they put me."
Pressed to name a current top five, Wildcat fans will be happy to know that Kansas State is the first school he mentioned and solidly in his top five.
"Right now all the schools are equal. I like four schools the most right now in Kansas State, Texas Tech, Arkansas and TCU. Northwestern is recruiting me also but these schools are my top schools."
Small has been very active on the camp circuit this year taking in quite a few campus visits across the country.
"I have been going to quite a few camps this summer. I am going to go to TCU's camp Friday and then I am going to go to Arkansas' camp. I have already been to see Kansas State and I went and camped there in June."
Kansas State was very savvy in their recruitment of Small, selecting Co-Offensive Coordinator Dana Dimel to head up his recruitment. Dimel has very strong ties to the Houston area and was once the Head Coach at the University of Houston. Relying on those connections to find talent in the past for the Wildcats and with a great talent for evaluating players, Dimel has developed a good relationship with Cody Small.
"Coach Dimel is a big part of my recruitment at Kansas State. He is a coach that knows Houston really well from when he was the Head Coach of UofH (Houston). It was funny because when he first called me he was calling me from a 713 area code and using his wife's cell phone because he said he had broken his cell phone. His wife kept her cell phone number from when they were here. He is a good coach and I have a good relationship with Coach Dimel."
Looking to bring Cody Small to Manhattan for a closer look and to give him the chance to see what K-State had to offer, Coach Dimel asked Cody to trip to Manhattan.
"K-State started recruiting me when they came by my school. We have this weekend that is kind of like hell week. It's called Wildcat Weekend and we do all of these exercises with jump ropes and running – it is just a lot of exercise and running. At the time I did not have a film put together but my High School Coach put in a good word for me and they got to see me go through some of our Wildcat Weekend. Well Coach Dimel told me that he had seen me play before and that I needed to come up and come to their camp. So I went there for the June 13th camp."
That trip locked up an official scholarship offer for Small.
"With Kansas State when I went there for camp, I got to spend a good deal of time with Coach Dimel and talk to him. He told me that he could go ahead and put me up for a scholarship but that in the end everything went through Coach Snyder. Coach Snyder has the last say and approval on scholarships. Coach Dimel just talked to me and told me about the program and that he knew I could come there and be a player at KSU. He told me that he was going to put me up for a scholarship. He also told me that because I didn't have film put together yet, that Coach Snyder would have to say yes on my scholarship, that it was all up to Coach Snyder."
In early July- Kansas State offered Small, something that solidified the Wildcats' interest in him.
"I was excited when K-State offered. I was thrilled to get that," Small told KStateFans.
An honor roll student that regularly earns A's and B's and has his grades in order and locked down, Small says academics will play a large role in his decision making process and that he is looking at possibly majoring in either Kinesiology or Physical Therapy.
"Really I am looking for a school that has good academics. The academic side is important to me and then it is about finding the right school that has both the education and athletics, just an all-around good school. Distance doesn't really matter to me. I really want to look at the academics and then the athletics and look to see if the school has the right balance."
As far as Kansas State is concerned, Small said his trip to Manhattan went great and there are quite a few things that stood out about Kansas State.
"What can you say about Kansas State, they are a Big 12 school, they have a good tradition and a great campus. And they have Coach Snyder! I mean what can you say about Coach Snyder? The guy is a legend. I got to talk to him on my visit and got to spend some time with him. I just got to talk with him and see how they did things and how everything worked. But just talking to him and getting to spend that time with him in Manhattan and talk with Coach Dimel, I got to see what they were like and what Kansas State was like. Kansas State is a school that I am serious about. I liked my visit there."
It is a good thing that Kansas State has offered Small and that they have showed early interest as we think Small is going to blow up this year and given a sliver more time at the position- he is going to excel at Tight End. With all the intangibles, speed and size to go along with honor roll grades, this is the type of talented player you want wearing the Purple and White.