Wildcat Punter talks about 'miscue'

Tim Reyer should be commended. He was invited to a media party Tuesday afternoon, and he had the maturity ... was man enough to attend. He knew what the questions would be and he faced them one by one.

"Where were you, Tim?"

And after what coach Bill Snyder called the "mystery punt," ''What did the coach say to you?''

Reyer, Kansas State's sophomore punter, wore a sheepish smile as he slipped into the Big 8 Room for the player's portion of the weekly Wildcat press conference.

He didn't get more than two strides into the room when he was faced with armed pens and microphones waiting for the answer. In stereo, the question came: "Tim, where were you?"

Where was Reyer when 10 members of KSU's punt team were in position at their own 12-yard-line after a third-down pass intended for Jordy Nelson was incomplete?

After all, Reyer serves as star of that particular KSU unit. He's the punter that was to have received the long-snap from Jeff Mortimer, which zoomed past blocker Brandon Archer, skipping in the end zone, and dancing its way out the back end.

Taking a deep breath, Reyer told the tale.

"I got caught looking up at the play to Jordy on the jumbotron," Reyer said. "When I looked up, they were snapping the football."

His immediate feeling?

"My heart just sank. I felt so stupid," he admitted. "All I can do is forget it and move on. That's all I can do."

So, what did Mr. Snyder want to know?

"He just asked me why I wasn't out there," Reyer said.

Pausing, he repeated, "I never thought something like that could happen. I really felt stupid. It's something I never want to do again."

True to his character as a person, the Rock Creek High School product stood eye-to-eye to each question, each repeated question as a new set of media-types approached him, and he answered honestly.

He had made a mistake.

Yes, it was a stupid mistake.

And he admitted it.

Reyer said a couple of his teammates came over and barked at him to "get it together," but others reminded him that he was still a good punter ... and he was their punter.

On campus Monday, Reyer admitted to somewhat dreading those classes, but he said, "I was surprised about the reaction. People were behind me. But yeah, I wasn't really looking forward to going to class, but I knew I had to."

If there's a Wildcat that such an event should not have happened to, it's Tim Reyer.

Agreeing was Snyder, who immediately knew "... it hurt him tremendously. It really pained him because he's such a great youngster. He's probably still in agony, but I think he has the depth of character, and is strong enough individually, that I don't believe he will carry it from game to game."

Snyder added, that he hoped the rest of the team would be equally strong in responding from the 43-21 loss to the Sooners.

"The bottom line of this football team is what is the strength of character?" Snyder said. "Will we be strong enough individually, and collectively, to bounce back from this loss ... and any type of loss?"

Time will tell for Reyer, and the Wildcats.

A walk-on out of Rock Creek in 2004, Reyer out-booted the prize recruit Jesse Martinez from the junior college ranks, becoming the Wildcats' No. 1 punt-man early in the season.

Earning a scholarship in the off-season, he maintained that starting status again this fall, fending off challenges from Martinez and Cole Brokenicky.

It's a feel-good story from a young man that this writer feels very good about.

Of every feature-type story printed on a K-State athlete during the 2004-2005 sports year, Reyer was the only one ... the only one ... who took time to drop a note in the mail expressing his appreciation.

Of the ka-zillion words printed on last year's super-stars in a variety of sports ... not a thankful word was expressed. Reyer was the one ... the only one ... who took the time to scribble a dozen words on a card, decorate it with a stamp, and drop it in the mail.

It made an impression, and so did Reyer's display of courage and honesty Tuesday afternoon.

Oh, was there any punishment for Reyer?

Smiling, he answered, "Let's just say I'll be in better shape this next game."

Reyer passed yet another test. The one of keeping a sense of humor in the face of adversity.


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