Brian Casey looks to repeat his 2003 performance

There was a time when K-State tight end Brian Casey wondered if he would ever get on the field. Last year he got his chance because of an injury and made the most of it. This senior, who has already received preseason honors hopes to produce a repeat performance this season.

While most of the offensive attention for Kansas State might be going to Darren Sproles and Dylan Meier, tight end Brian Casey might be the best secret weapon the Wildcats have this year.

Last season, in what looked like just another season for Casey—one on the bench—he shined. In his debut against California he pulled in two receptions for 53 yards. On the year the senior, who was an honorable mention all-conference selection by league coaches and the Associated Press, notched 19 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns. His 18.4 yards per catch ranked second on team.

And this year, the 6-foot-7 270 Kansas City, Mo. Native is out to prove it was no fluke, starting with some instant recognition this preseason—selected as honorable mention all-conference by Street and Smith magazine.

"I'm a lot more comfortable," he said. "I know the offense a lot better now than I did at this time last season. In that sense, it's different. But I'm still working hard everyday, like I did last season and trying to improve myself."

But there was a time when Casey wasn't sure if he'd ever see the field, even sometimes wondering if it was all worth it.

 "Those times getting ready for practice everyday and knowing that I wasn't going to play that week were hard," he said. "But you just have to keep working hard for that chance to get out there and show what you can do and got my chance last season.

"I'm a hard working person. I don't give up. I come out there every year and try my best. The coaches notice it, but there have always been two or three tight ends ahead of me every year. Finally, when Thomas Hill got hurt, not that I wanted him hurt, but it gave me an opportunity to go out there, step up, and show what I could do."

But despite his success as a junior, Casey said he was surprised to receive the preseason acknowledgement that he has.

 "I wasn't sure if I was even going to make it through last season after not playing me first three years here," he said. "But now I have to go out there and prove myself everyday to earn that recognition."

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