Snyder on Heismans

Bill Snyder thrives on excellence, and the Heisman Trophy is awarded each year to the player that best exemplifies excellence in the college football arena.

With that in mind, it's only logical that the Kansas State football coach would be thrilled for one of his Wildcats to be in the mix to win college football's most prestigious award.

"I think it's neat that somebody can perform his craft well enough just to be considered for such an award," said Snyder.

In 1998, Michael Bishop was second in the balloting to Texas running sensation Ricky Williams.

This season, Wildcat quarterback Ell Roberson was a preseason candidate, while running sensation Darren Sproles arrived on the Heisman scene in the last couple weeks.

"Would I want one of our youngsters to win that award? It would be great," Snyder said. "I would love that."

But only if it comes in what he feels is the proper progression and pursued in a team-first attitude.

"If you put your teammates and your team first, and understand the best way to help the football team is to perform," Snyder said, "then whatever is supposed to happen will happen."

Whether with Bishop in 1998, Roberson this year, or Sproles next, Snyder says the message is the same.

"It's a matter of saying, 'I'm in your corner 100 percent. But I also want you to understand the way to win it is by putting your football team first and playing as well as you can possibly play," Snyder said. "If you do that, and achieve some awards, you know in your heart that they were well deserve."

On the flip side, Snyder will warn, "You can be distracted by this process. It's one of those things that if it's on your mind every moment of the day, it can cause issues and problems with you, which creates issues and problems for the team, which creates issues and problems for you."

In 1998, Bishop was off limits to the media through the heart of the season.

Snyder, however, insists that was not because of the Heisman Trophy. In Snyder's words, "That had something to do with Michael."

Even today, four years later, Snyder will not reveal the reason for muzzling Bishop.

Overall, Snyder said, "Michael did a pretty good job of not getting himself all wrapped up in that (Heisman-hype). One reason was that he was such a competitive young guy. He wanted to win so badly ... he wanted all the right things and wanted to play well. The rest (awards) were just icing on the cake."

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