(Free) Part 2-Duane Zlatnik-WCN Members Only

KSU's physical brand of defense has Ron Prince and Co. on the hunt to keep the cupboard full in Manhattan beyond 2007. So we turn our attention to K-State Take Board DL target Duane Zlatnik, who played DT his sophomore year before putting his hand on the ground his junior season to date. Zlatnik offers versatility & can be moved around if needed. Hence, his importance to KSU's recruiting efforts.

Duane Zlatnik who does more walking than talking has KSU LB Coach Matt Wallerstadt stalking but K-State alumni and fans hope Wallerstadt can just do the right kind of talking. After all, kid's a 6-foot-4, 265-pound, 4.8 forty time-range DE/DT speed-demon and would be a nice get come National Signing Day, 2008 (always the first Wednesday in the month of February). Having said that where does KSU really stand in the Zlatnik Sweepstakes?

The in-state defender is not tipping his hand, playing it close to the vest. But, as usual, WCN Members Only offers up its thoughts on where the Cats rank in the pecking order…

I really believe he'll stick close to home in the end. Despite the fact that he told me his mom and dad gave him the okay, if his heart leads him there, to go out-of-state and play for Wisconsin -- one of the top three schools on his Top Three List. That said the impression I'm getting is ‘Hometown kid, KSU or KU dreams of D-I/Big 12 stardom.'

Kansas and Kansas State are "only about 40 minutes away from home," Zlatnik merely answering the question I asked regarding proximity from Rossville to the two in-state programs locking down arguably the top two spots on his top three list. And, that has me calling Zlatnik's recruitment a KSU-KU battle. No pub here for Wisconsin fans but I will offer this: Good luck on sewing him up on his official visit, since he penciled you guys in for one. And, I say good luck because that's your chance, your opportunity, one full weekend to knock his socks off.

Let's forge ahead and meet the coaches tasked with inking the Rossville, Kansas DE/DT prospect: "KSU LB/Special Teams Coach Matt Wallerstadt, KU Co-DC/Safeties Coach Clint Bowen, Wisconsin Co-DC Dave Doeren."

Zlatnik described every coach assigned to him from his top three as "nice and friendly" and that he gets along "with all three the same." But he did say Wisconsin's Doeren "is the funniest," Kansas' Bowen "is the most intelligent," while KSU's Wallerstadt received "the smoothest" distinction.

Bottom Line: Okay, so based on the above which I'll admit is not a lot to mull over I'm going with ‘K-State wins the kid over in the end.' But, to be honest, that's just a good guess. Zlatnik could wind up a Jayhawk as much in my opinion as he could a Wildcat. But for the sole intent of offering up my two cents since I did in fact talk to him, gotta go with K-State/Wallerstadt and Co. Why? Well, "Smooth" sounds pretty good to me. Wallerstadt, make no mistake, is smooth, not to mention one of the ace recruiters on the Kansas State staff (along with offensive coordinator James Franklin and head coach Ron Prince). If KSU loses this kid to KU, then he sees playing time quicker in Lawrence, or his heart is there, or his family has a long or recent history of attending and/or pulling for KU. Those, in my opinion, are feasible obstacles that could prove too difficult for even Wallerstadt – bad ass recruiter and all. So there you have it, those questions after further analysis deserve follow up and we will no doubt do our best to grab that for ya in than future...

Final Notes/Numbers/Rants: Thought it might be useful to include some of the information we gather and report in every regular recruiting update we do, and that is available to you below… Essentially, it is the same info pulled from our initial Zlatnik interview/story we ran a couple of days ago…But think of it as a refresher if you will. Plus, I go into a rant later, after looking at the information offered below…

JR Season Stat Package: "I had 60 tackles, 6 sacks, 15 pressures, 3-4 QB Knockdowns, 2 FFs."

SR Season Updated Stats: "(In just 5 games) I'm already at or about close to 40 tackles, 3 sacks, 2-3 pressures, 2 QB knockdowns, and 1 Tipped Pass."


RANKING GAFFE/RANT: Might our resident Midlands Experts and Scout.com National Expert Team revisit the ranking of Duane Zlatnik, currently only carrying two stars. Kind of got to side with the KSU coaching staff on this one. How many two star prospects are really two star-type talents in Manhattan today? The Wildcats have talent. And, that talent is beating 4- and 5-star talent on the road in the Big 12 and SEC (Texas and Auburn, respectively). Are the KSU coaches that much better than the Texas and Auburn coaches? Maybe so… But it's probably a little bit of both. Therefore, negligence on the part of our Scout.com expert recruiting team if they continue doling out two stars to every single recruit KSU lands, targets and recruits, with the occasional three star here and there.

What a joke.

And, although, these guys are my friends and colleagues and I certainly respect them which are all I need to say, I am simply trying to challenge them the next time they reevaluate. I'm simply asking them to step it up a notch next time they revisit the star rankings of the Wildcat prospects, targets and commitments…


Because I do not see one 5 star, or 4 star, only a few 3 stars, and an overwhelming majority of 2 stars… I ain't buyin' it. Quit looking at who Oklahoma and Texas are recruiting only, and put some of the kids Kansas State is recruiting under the same microscope. I think our expert recruiting team is more than capable of comparing like-talent. And it's time they start looking at KSU's offer process too. When it comes to the evaluation/target/offer process, K-State's coaching staff doesn't take a backseat to anybody.

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