Depth Across The Lines

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The departure of Kenneth Mayfield and Zach Kendall at the guard spots left huge voids along the O-Line. Coach Dickey is looking to re-stock the lines and create depth at each position along the line. From Walk-ons to Seniors, players are starting to emerge and if the seson began today, the O-line would look like this....

Kenneth Mayfield and Zach Kendall left the program and going with them out the door was experience and almost half of the Offensive Line.

Offensive Line Coach Charlie Dickey is tasked this season with finding the new players to replace Kendall and Mayfield while creating enough depth along the line to shore up and injuries that might occur.

Hard Work Pays Off
A former walk-on from Andale, Kan., this homegrown former wrestler walked on last year and worked his rear off to put himself in playing contention - as well as earn a Kansas State Football scholarship. B.J. Finney toiled last year on the Scout team, where he was named the 2010 Scout Team Player of The Year and was rewarded this summer with a scholarship. Stepping right in where he left off last year, Coach Dickey recently announced that 6-foot-3 and 300 pound redshirt freshman B.J. Finney has locked down the starting center position early on. Finney is a fan favorite with a great story off the field and it is nice to see his hard work and perseverance rewarded.

Both guard positions were up for grabs this season and the early favorites are Senior Colten Freeze and the right guard and sophomore Keenan Taylor at the left guard position. Nothing is written in stone this early, but both Freeze and Taylor have game experience and it will be up to them to hold off the players like transfer Nick Puetz and redshirt freshman Tomasi Mariner.

Freeze played last year and was able to provide depth off the bench, while Taylor played on special teams as a young player still learning the offensive schemes.

Creating Competition

One of the biggest issues that Head Coach Bill Snyder sees with his squad is raising the level of competition across every position by creating enough depth that there are players constantly challenging starters for their position.

Coach Snyder had this to say about creating high competition levels: "That's important, to try to win the position. What's that do? That makes both of them better. That plays into what I talk about all the time." Creating Depth

In terms of depth, K-State will count on players like Senior Zach Hanson who notched three starts last year, Junior Ethan Douglas - another player who was a starter at one time last year and Sophomore Cornelius Lucas. Lucas is massive at 6-foot-8 and 331 pounds and saw the field last year on special teams and this year looks to provide depth at the tackle positions and has the height required to play left tackle.

The trio of Hanson, Douglas and Lucas affords the Wildcats the depth that is needed at the tackle positions. The Wildcat Offense is largely based off the running game and having dominant Offensive Lines with interchangeable players.

At center, K-State is looking for the massive transfer from Hutchinson - Shaun Simon to come and back-up early starter B.J. Finney.

Prior to Fall practices, Coach Snyder spoke about having the quality of depth this year he is looking to create, saying: "We have a chance that we haven't had before, to create some consistent depth in our defense. That is also true on offense as well. For the past two years we haven't had depth. … If you create depth, by that I mean a quality two-deep, if you have two guys who are somewhat equal and have a competitive spirit and a passion for the game then they will compete day-in, day-out. "

Early Look Starting Offensive Line

As of today, the starting line-up along Offensive Line would have Taylor and Freeze at the guard spots, Finney at center and Foketi and Aufner at the tackle positions.

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