K-State adds defensive end to class

Kansas State went back to Florida to solidify its future defensive line and found two-star end Vladimir Faustin.

It went nearly all the way to the wire for Vladimir Faustin. After getting into the race for this talented two-star defensive end just two weeks ago, Kansas State won Faustin's fifth and final official visit this past weekend.

And this 6-foot-3 230 pound Florida native told K-State that they had a lot of making up to do if he was going to consider them.

Apparently the Wildcats' coaching staff did just that and more because Faustin announced his commitment to K-State Monday.

"It was a great trip," he said. "I met a lot of great people there. I like the coaches and players. I mean, away from football and the coaches, the players' attitudes really impressed me. They are so focused and all business. They are real athletes and they want to win, talk about it all the time. I want to be a part of that. I know they'll make me better."

This is another sign that Bret Bielema and K-State's recruiting push in Florida is paying off. In fact, K-State might have received a little help from a former Wildcat in nabbing Faustin. Former K-State defensive standout Mario Smith is the defensive backs coach at Pace High School.

"I started watching K-State a little last year," Faustin said. "Coach Mario sparked my interest because he had a great career there and we always see film on him. He's a great motivator because he knows what it takes and knows you have to work for it."

But not only did K-State have to win over Faustin, they also had to warm up to his family, something not easily done so late in the game.

"Oh they knew they came in late," he said. "I told them they were late, but they came and visited me and my family. My parents knew the other coach's names on a first name basis. They didn't have that with K-State and getting to that point was important to me."

And though the undersized Faustin knows he'll put on some size once he gets to Manhattan, keeping his speed remains an important goal. Faustin said his speed has really paid off on the corners in pressuring the quarterback. This season he had over 100 tackles and 16 sacks.

"I'm going to keep running and stretching so I can keep it," said Faustin, who runs a 4.70. "I don't want to get bigger and slow down. I need to stay quick and keep my legs fresh. I know my speed is my best asset."

Faustin also knows K-State isn't tremendously deep at defensive end right now, so he may get a shot earlier than usual, if he works hard.

"My first year it's probable that I would redshirt," he said. "But If I can get my off-season workouts going in the right direction and get there this summer, I might be able to compete for a rotation spot or something. But the coaches know more than me so all I'm going to do is work hard and see what happens."

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