After Saturday's open practice in Olathe Saturday afternoon, Kansas State football coach Ron Prince said, "As you can see, practice at this time of the year isn't exactly mid-season form, but we're really excited to get the team out there," said KSU coach Ron Prince. "We pushed them pretty hard this week and the weather has been tough on them, but I feel like we're getting close to the stamina we need going into the environment that we will face on Sept. 1."
That's when the Wildcats open the 2007 season at Auburn against a team ranked among the Top 20 in most preseason polls.
MISSING PRACTICE: Not practicing on Saturday was running back Leon Patton due to the flu, and defensive tackle Alphonso Moran for personal reasons.
NOT WITH THE WILDCATS: Prince also confirmed that freshman wide receiver Danny Hogan from Dallas, Texas, and Dante Pinchback, a tight end from Irving, Texas, would not be with the team this year.
MURPHY AN IMMEDIATE HIT: Joining the 'Cats, however, after not being with the team at last week's media day was Deon Murphy, a 5-10, 170-pound wide receiver from Houston, Texas. Murphy played the last two years at Coffeyville Community College where he earned first team all-Jayhawk honors.
Murphy returned a kickoff for a touchdown, plus made one nifty catch of a Josh Freeman pass during Saturday's session.
"He's a very accomplished punt returner and kick returner, which we need," Prince said. "He's also very natural catching the ball."
Murphy is battling Cedric Wilson for a starting job at wide receiver.
VIERS OVER BEDORE?: Trevor Viers, a 6-foot-5, 265-pounder from tiny Little River High School (Ks.) took the majority of snaps at center over Jordan Bedore, who missed early-fall work due to not passing the K-State conditioning test.
"He's done a great job of learning," Prince said of Viers. "He's been dutiful. He's a tough kid, very athletic, quick off the ball.
"Obviously, Jordan Bedore's done a nice job, as well. We've got a little bit of a competition there, to be honest with you," Prince said. "I haven't made up my mind who the center's going to be going into the opener, but that's a good thing."
FORMER 'CAT SHINING: Former Wildcat Frank Murphy currently ranks eighth in the Canadian Football League in receptions with 28 for 359 yards.
Murphy, who plays for Toronto, recently snagged seven passes for 122 yards in a 24-13 loss to Saskatchewan.