Wildcat QB Kevin Lopina - Ready for Manhattan

Kevin Lopina's life is like a lot of recent high school graduates. The last year of his life is filled with questions from people about the decisions he is making and new ones keep popping up. Lopina had to pick which college to attend. He chose K-State over Oregon State and a slew of other schools.

He could check that question off the list. He still had numerous ones left on it like who would he would he room with and when would he report to K-State. He is rooming with Nate Prater. The two are becoming good friends.

Lopina was scheduled to attend Prater's graduation ceremony and party earlier this month.

Nate Prater and Kevin Lopina were paired up together by K-State coaches. Now, they are great friends and eager to start their careers as K-State football players.

"We are both really excited," Lopina said. "We want to get down there and show what we can do." Lopina is taking classes at K-State. He started the classes on June 4 and is taking some basic college classes this summer. He will take more classes in the fall.

He is going through summer workouts with the K-State football program and adjusting to life in Manhattan. Lopina has been thinking about playing football at K-State since Christmas Eve.

That was the day he picked up the telephone and heard K-State coach Bill Snyder's monotone voice on the other end of the line. Snyder offered him a football scholarship.

"When he said that, I was real excited, there is nothing like it," he said. "It was one of the best feelings that I ever had. I was surprised and shocked when he called. It was Christmas Eve morning and I was surprised when he called me."

Since deciding to attend K-State, Lopina has worked out four days a week. He trained with former K-State athlete Kenny Harrington this spring. Harrington was a track athlete and football player at K-State.

Lopina's goals during the workouts were to follow K-State's program and gain strength and speed. He never tried to perform a maximum lift.

"I really haven't tested what I can do," he said. "I have focused on results. I can feel myself getting bigger and faster."

Now, he has another question on his mind- will he redshirt or play as a true freshman. He has not (as of the end of May) been told whether or not he will redshirt. He is intent on learning as much as he can about the system during summer workouts. In a way, he figures the question of redshirting will take care of itself.

So too will the discussion of rather or not to put Lopina in this year's quarterback debate, which seems to be an annual topic of debate for K-State fans during the summer.

When Lopina is finally included in the debate, here is a biography of what fans can expect. He is considered a dual-threat quarterback. He was an All-West selection by PrepStar and played at one of the most storied prep programs in the country.

He lettered three years and started two for the Spartans. He led De La Salle to an 8-3-1 record last year. The school won its 13th straight CIF North Coast Section title. He threw 14 touchdowns as a senior. Lopina said he has been considered a dual threat because he ran the option in high school. He said that K-State coaches liked his ability to pass and run with the football.

"They liked the high school I am coming from," he said. "I played in a lot of big games and things like that. We had the weight of the world on our shoulders."

Now, at least Lopina has a few less questions to answer.

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