Senior Day at "The Bill"

The Kansas State senior class, 22 strong, will face off against Missouri this weekend in their final game in the Purple and White at Kansas State. "A bowl game is really important to us" ....It's Senior Day at "The Bill."

It's Senior Day Saturday when Kansas State lines up against the University of Missouri Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. While the class numbers 22 strong, it makes one wonder about the productivity of the 2003 Wildcat recruiting class of five years ago.

K-State is scheduled to start 10 seniors Saturday, but only four of those - Jordy Nelson, Logan Robinson, Marcus Watts and Byron Garvin -- came out of that '03 class, and of those, Nelson and Watts were walk-ons.

Perhaps, it's one of the reasons that this K-State team is just 5-5 with games remaining against Mizzou and Fresno State. There's something to be said for the commitment and investment of a five-year player, compared to those who arrived from the junior college ranks.

Saturday's possible juco starters include wide receiver Daniel Gonzalez, running back James Johnson, defensive end Moses Manu, defensive end Rob Jackson, linebacker Justin Roland, and cornerback Justin McKinney.

While vital to the program, their investment isn't as great as with the fifth-year seniors.

Twenty "Wildcat Newcomers" were listed in the 2003 media guide with 13 of those being freshmen, six coming from the community college ranks, plus Allen Webb, who transferred from Indiana.

Of the 13 freshmen, only eight -- Bryan Baldwin, Steve Cline, Garvin, Greg Gaskins, Nelson, Rashaad Norwood, Robinson and Watts -- are still with the program.

Rounding out that 2003 freshman class was wide receiver Jermaine Moreira, who completed his eligibility in four seasons, while the others left the program - Jon Beunthin, Tony Coleman Jr. Alphonso Moran and Pat Thompson.

While none of today's fifth-year seniors played on the 2003 Big 12 championship team, since then they have been a part of 21 victories playing on teams that have won four, five, seven and five games.

"A bowl game is really important to us," said Watts. "We don't want to be known as a class that went out with a record that's below .500. There are three of us that came in together as gray-shirts (Robinson and Cline). We've been through the ups and downs. We are still trying to get to a bowl game."

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