Kansas State hopes the Liberal-connection continues.
The latest Liberal Redskin to join the Kansas State Wildcats is Mackenzie Rosel, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound outside-linebacker.
Rosel will be signing a national letter of intent Wednesday morning at the school. He will be one of just two Kansas products signing in a class that is expected to number up to 25.
The other Kansan is Nick Stringer, an offensive lineman from Topeka's Hayden High School.
While aware of the pipeline between schools, Rosel said, "I really didn't know Lamar because of the age thing, and I just know of Carlos."
But really, he says, "Fans around here are for Oklahoma, plus I kind of have KU in my family, so I really didn't know too much about Kansas State until they started recruiting me."
Once that process started, Rosel says he immediately became a Wildcat.
"I took a visit to Kansas. They didn't offer, but that didn't disappoint me at all," said Rosel, a national honor society member at Liberal High School.
"Since I decided on Kansas State, I've quickly become a fanatic about the school."
What impressed Rosel the most about Kansas State during his visit was the concern shown by the academic professors he met, plus "... the president of the university. There's just a great atmosphere."
Rosel, a three-year-starter, played a free safety/outside linebacker where he registered 173 tackles for the 8-3 Redskins. He also played some fullback during his senior year.
"He's a hard-nosed player who enjoys contact," said Liberal coach Steve Warner, formerly the coach at Marysville High School. "He runs to the ball very well."
Rosel's prep career was a challenge at every grade. Mononucleosis plagued him as a sophomore, he had to rehab from an ACL injury plus had the West Nile virus in his junior season.
K-State projects Rosel to be a SAM, or strong-side linebacker. But before that happens, he will have to beef-up 20 to 30 pounds.
"They have me on a 6,000-calorie a day diet ... something like seven meals a day," Rosel said with a laugh.
Along with getting bigger, Rosel also knows that muscle-power must come along with the weight.
"I'm looking forward to the work load, and I know it will be entirely different than high school," said Rosel, who also dabbled in track and baseball during his LHS career.
"Being away from home will be difficult, but that was one of the great things about meeting the guys during my visit. I will have my own family even though I'm away from home."
Mackenzie will be the second in the family to play big-time football as his brother, Eric, a 1996 high school graduate, played at the University of Michigan as a linebacker and tight end graduating three years ago.
"It was a dream to play at Michigan because that's where big brother played," Mackenzie said. "I remember a lot of days where I was decked out in all Michigan stuff."
Laughing, Rosel said, "My folks are loving the fact that I will be
closer. I think Michigan was an 18-hour drive for them."
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