Meier the starter for Now?

Ron Prince called his two remaining quarterbacks into his office about a week ago to tell them something; that senior Dylan Meier would be the starter when the Kansas State football team opens its 2006 season, and true-freshman Josh Freeman would be his backup.

Allan Evridge, Allen Webb and Kevin Lopina have all taken their names out of contention by transferring to different schools since the beginning of spring practices last May, and Freeman could not outplay the experienced veteran.

"We are really excited to have Dylan as our quarterback," coach Ron Prince said. "He, in my opinion, has won this team and this coaching staff over because of his grit and determination.

He has done a good job of not only managing his own circumstances, but also really leading the team. We have been pleased with how the team has responded, and we are expecting big things from him not only this weekend but during the entire season."

Meier returns to the starting role Saturday in the season-opener versus Illinois State after having missed out on the entire 2005 season due to an injury to this throwing shoulder that he sustained during the 2004 season.

Even with his injury plagued ‘04 year, he was still able to start in six games and throw for 1,436 yards. He completed 57.7 percent of his passes and threw nine touchdowns. He would have been the starter heading into last season had it not been for the injury, and now he said he is ready to finally get back out there after having missed so much time.

"I'm just getting anxious to actually get out there and show what I got, show what I'm made of and help move this team down the field," Meier said. "I am feeling a lot of excitement and I'm just trying to take everything one day at a time.

"I feel as strong as I can ever be. I feel as good as gold and I'm ready to get this thing going."

Meier also said that he was honored to beat out a guy like Freeman, and that he will have to stay on top of his game all season long to stay ahead of Freeman on the depth chart.

Now Freeman takes to the backup role, which is something he never experienced during high school. He understands that playing in the Big 12 Conference is a huge step-up from prep football. He said he will accept his role for now, but he will be ready if his number is ever called.

"Sure I was disappointed about not being named the starter," Freeman said. "But Dylan has really proved that he is the man that can take control. From here I just have to continue to work and get better.

"I have a lot of trust in my ability, and I feel like if there is any moment when I have to come in I can get the job done, but for now Dylan is the man and I'm supporting him 100 percent."


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