Meet the class of 2004

Kansas State announced its class of 2004 Wednesday. The class, 26-strong, includes 18 incoming freshmen and eight junior college transfers. Four-star commits, quarterback Nick Patton and offensive lineman Matt Boss highlight the class.

Kansas State announced its 2004 recruiting class Wednesday. Though most were expected, there were a couple surprises.

The class of 26, which includes 18 incoming freshmen and eight junior college transfers, could be one of the best K-State has ever seen, highlighted by two four-star recruits in quarterback Nick Patton and offensive lineman Matt Boss, both Kansas products. This class also marks the first time K-State has awarded 85 scholarships, the maximum allowed by the NCAA.

"As has been the case each and every year, the true quality of this class will not be determined for a couple of year when each of these young men will have had the opportunity to mature into and become more familiar with our system," K-State coach Bill Snyder said. "However, this appears to be a talented group of student-athletes, all of whom seem to be quality young men with a competitive desire to contribute to the continued success of Kansas State football."

Offensively, K-State signed seven linemen, four receivers, one running back, and one tight end. The most notably of the receivers are 6-foot-4 Romunn Grigsby and 6-foot-6 JUCO transfer Jesse Martinez. Though Martinez had 40 receptions for 683 yards, he also averaged over 36 yards per punt, another position he'll get a shot at next season. Grigsby had 67 receptions for 1,244 yards this season. Florida prep star Cedric Wilson and Garden City Community College's Yamon Figurs, who is enrolled for the spring semester at K-State, round out the receivers in the class.

Parrish Fisher, a fan-favorite and possibly heir to Darren Sproles at running back, could pay off big for the Cats in the years to come. This two-star Texas product rushed for over 3,600 yards and 33 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons at Richardson's Pearce High School.

Hays' (Kan.) Brett Alstatt, an early sleeper in the class, is projected as a tight end, though playing fullback and defensive end in high school. Alstatt chose K-State over Indiana.

As for Patton and Boss, probably K-State's most prized high school signings, making the adjustment from high school to college will be quite the test according to Snyder.

"I think for both of them it will be the magnitude of learning that takes place, going from one system to another, one that becomes much more broad-based  and a lot more to learn in terms of assignments, a lot more to learn in terms of techniques, fundamentals of the game," he said."

Though K-State got a surprise Wednesday, losing Micah Howeth on the defensive side of the ball, the Wildcats did manage to get three-star JUCO defensive end Tearrius George to switch from Iowa State to K-State at the last minute. The Wildcats also stole one back from Arizona with the signing of two-star linebacker and Texas native Aaron Darks, who just visited K-State last weekend. Two-star Lester Graham of John Carroll High (Fla.) is the other ‘backer to ink at K-State.

In addition to George, K-State also reeled in Kansas native Jordan Bedore and Vladimir Faustin to secure the future defensive end spots, a spot Snyder said is a "concern."

And as always, on offense, the quarterback position garners a lot of attention and this year is no different, but perhaps the most important class of quarterbacks since Ell Roberson joined K-State five years ago. The Wildcats found two in Winfield High's Patton and two-star Nebraska native Allan Evridge. Snyder said with the current quarterback situation being what it is, Roberson's departure and the returning of two inexperienced signal callers in Dylan Meier and Allan Webb next season, it's not a stretch to think one, if not both Patton and Evridge could forego a redshirt season.

"That's quite possible right now," he said. "In all likelihood, that will probably take place."

However, a lot has to happen for one of incoming freshmen to unseat Dylan Meier or Allan Webb, despite just a handful of passing attempts by Meier and none by Webb.

"The quarterback position is one in which there is an awful lot of mental aspects of the game that becomes, not that there isn't at other positions, it's just at a different level with quarterbacks," Snyder said. "And that's different from the high school environment, so consequently, that decision-making process takes some getting used to. It takes experience. It takes time."

"Both of them involve themselves in the quarterback running games in their programs and both were pretty successful at it," he said. "I don't think that either one strays from tradition of the K-State quarterback."

But two positions the K-State coaching staff appeared to focused on this season was offensive line and defensive back. In all, including Boss, K-State's seven offensive linemen commits, three of which are from Kansas, average a little over a two-star rating apiece. At defensive back, K-State loaded up on the JUCO talent, getting three-star recruits Kyle Williams, Maurice Porter, and Brett Jones. The Wildcats recently added Surrell Davis, who set the San Mateo CC career interceptions record with 14. Both Porter and Jones are enrolled at K-State for the spring semester and will participate in spring drills. K-State also nabbed three-star cornerback Walter Hudson out of Dallas (Tex.). Hudson had over 100 tackles and three interceptions this season in helping Wilmer-Hutchins High to a 7-3 record.

"Both of those positions were perhaps more than adequately supplied with youngsters," Snyder said. "And I'm pleased with, not just the numbers, as the quality that you have. And there is no way for me to honestly share with you how great the quality happens to be. I have some confidence in the youngsters on the list. I really think it's a good group of young guys."

Snyder was especially impressed with Williams' and Porter's ability to cover, with their good size and speed. It's something needed against the big wide receivers Texas and Oklahoma produce.

"I think both of them can run, which is significant for us," he said. "Both have legitimate size to play the game and not get overwhelmed by the bigger receivers. And both of them have some cover skills. They've lined up and matched up one-on-one at the community colleges where they are and it appears they've done a very nice of that."

K-State also announced the signing of three grayshirts, defensive tackles Alphonso Moran and M.L. Latimore and running back John McCardle, all of which are on campus for the spring semester at K-State.

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