Blake Baird was rewarded with a preferred walk-on role with Kansas State. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker from Silver Lake (Kan.) attended summer camp every year in the Little Apple. He was hoping a scholarship offer would open up for him and will have the chance to earn on when he gets to campus in June.
"It was this January when the staff offered me a preferred walk-on," said Baird. "I went up for a few games this year and really loved the atmosphere on game day. It's a family environment. From day one the coaches were all very welcoming to me and knew me by my name. I played middle linebacker in college, but they're looking at me more for outside. I got to spend a lot of time with Coach Cox this summer and got to know him, but my recruiter was Sean Snyder."
This was Baird's second year as a starter for Silver Lake football. He helped lead the Eagles to a 13-2 record and a berth in the Kansas 3A state championship game.
"I led 3A in tackles with 152," Baird said. "I led the state in sacks with 12. I made All-State and All-Leage in my senior season. It was a good year. I think I improved the most in my lateral movement. It was a big improvement over where I was a season ago.
"My plan is to be [in Manhattan] on June 3rd for summer workouts and classes. I just want to get a foot in the door, get my name out there, and see what I can do. Right now, I'm doing the spring workout program they gave us to prepare myself to go in strong. I've looking forward to the experience."
Baird also played tight end/h-back at Silver Lake has has scored four rushing touchdowns and two receiving. He also plays left field for Eagles baseball. When he gets to Kansas State, he wants to pursue a major in Agriculture.