Heck, Sean has raved of Reggie Walker and his potential all summer and for those of you have not not familiar with Mr. Walker- that is soon to end.
"We wouldn't have played him in the first game if we didn't think he was going to be around for awhile," Coach Bill Snyder said of his freshman linebacker.
Walker came to the Wildcats from Grant High School in Sacramento, Calif., and made an impression on Snyder rather quickly. Prior to coming to Manhattan, Walker himself said the only thing holding him from seeing the field was the training table and the tools in the weight room his High School did not have for him to workout.
"I think after a few days of practice, it was evident that he was going to be very good in our program," Snyder said. "How quickly he was going to play on a regular basis, we didn't know that yet."
While the five snaps Walker saw against Florida International may not qualify him as a regular, the fact that he's seeing the field at all in his true freshman year speaks for itself. Only offensive lineman John Hafferty saw playing time as a true freshman last season and in talking to the veteran linebackers, each has nothing but good things to say about his progress.
"Reggie is doing a great job for us in there and he is picking up our system really good right now. It is not going to be long for him, he just has some older guys ahead of him right now but he is young and probably the most ready to help us out right now," said Brandon Archer. Snyder said he likes the aggressive nature of Walker's play - a style of play that seems rather fitting for a player who was also an all-conference selection in rugby while in high school.
"He's an aggressive player," Snyder said. "He's got good quickness. He's kind of an attack-type guy. He doesn't sit and wait."
While early reviews seem positive, fans shouldn't be clamoring for Walker in the starting line-up just yet.
"He's still a work in progress." Snyder said. "He makes a decision and goes. He's making decisions full speed ahead and playing full speed ahead. Now you've got to make sure that all the decisions are the right ones, and that's where growing pains come in."
Growing pains or not, it sounds like K-State fans should keep their eyes on No. 53, who'll earn more playing time as he progresses. And given the recent rash of injuries at the LB spot last year, Walker's progress provides an additional depth and coverage.
Snyder praises DTs
Snyder seemed genuinely pleased with the play of his starting defensive tackles on Saturday. "I was really pleased with Junior (Moran) getting his first start and Quintin (Echols) played a good deal last year, but not as a regular player like he is now. I thought the two of them, in particular, played extremely well. Better than I have seen either one of them play at any time prior to this," Snyder said.
Norwood not impressive
Snyder said tight end Rashaad Norwood would be expected to improve on his performance. Snyder cited missed opportunities in both the run and pass game on Norwood's part. "I think he'll commit himself to being better than he was," Snyder said.
Jermaine the playmaker
When asked about potential playmakers on his squad, Snyder immediately mentioned wide receiver Jermaine Moreira. "Jermaine is (a playmaker)," Snyder said. "He's a Darren Sproles at a different position. He has that kind of movement." Snyder continued on, cracking a smile. "He ran for 15 minutes and didn't gain a yard out here the other day. You can see that he has the ability to make people miss him. That's a great asset. He's very athletic."
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