MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Ron Prince announced Sunday that five walk-on football players, including safety Andrew Erker, offensive lineman Michael Frieson, wide receiver Daniel Gonzales, tight end Donald Raymer and place kicker Tim Schwerdt, have all been awarded football scholarships for the 2006 season.
Erker, a sophomore from Olathe, is slated to make his first career start Saturday against Illinois State after not seeing any playing time last season. A product of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Erker saw extensive action over the spring and fall camp and has earned a starting job with his play.
Frieson will also make his first career start Saturday for the Wildcats as the senior is expected to get the nod at right tackle. The Bakersfield, Calif., native had earned the praise of the coaching staff a year ago and was pitted to be in the mix, but a season-ending injury cut his season short.
A big target at 6-foot-3, 216 pounds, Gonzales will also push for playing time at wide receiver and is currently working behind All-Big 12 performer Jordy Nelson heading into the season opener. Gonzales, a redshirt junior from Augusta, was impressive a year ago on the scout team and has continued that trend during the spring and fall camp.
One of K-State's deepest positions heading into the 2006 season is at tight end, and Raymer is expected to be the in playing rotation this season, especially in two-tight sets. A product of Goodland and Garden City Community College, Raymer did not see any playing time last season but has shown good leadership and solid blocking and receiving skills this fall.
Schwerdt, a junior from Tecumseh, appeared in three games last season and was good on 1-of-2 field goal attempts and was 5-of-6 on PATs. The lone field goal make was a 27-yarder at Nebraska that gave the Cats a 24-22 lead late in the game, while he was 4-of-4 on PATs in a win over Missouri.