Let 'SPRING' Begin

Kansas State begins spring football practice this weekend with the 15 practice sessions concluding on May 2 with the playing of the annual Purple-White game. One significant position change will be Lamark Brown going back to wide receiver after playing running back last year.

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder says he has no depth chart entering the 2009 spring season that begins this weekend.

Instead, he says, "Every youngster will have the opportunity to move forward. We fully expect that the depth chart will be very fluid. Repetitions will be gained, or lost, through performance."

Snyder said it was "fair to say" that Carson Coffman would take the first snaps at quarterback with the early-entry of Josh Freeman into the NFL Draft.

A 6-foot-3, 208-pound junior-to-be, Coffman is the only quarterback returning with any experience. Last year he completed 25-of-41 passes for 282 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown while playing in six games.

The Wildcat coach emphasized, "Somebody has to take the initial snap, but all of the youngsters will have a chance to evolve throughout practice. They will gain, or lose, repetitions based on performance.

"We've always opened our spring practice the way we came out of the previous season," Snyder said. "But every youngster, regardless of position, will have a chance to define a position on the depth chart, which I'm sure will be very fluid."

Snyder called Coffman "a bright young guy" who he thought would pick up the offense in its entirety rather quickly.

"Watching him during agility work, he has a nice change of direction and moves around better than I might have anticipated," Snyder said. "He has some leadership capabilities and has thrust himself into a leadership role. He has all the intrinsic values in place to build on."

Redshirt freshmen Collin Klein (6-5, 211) and Joseph Kassanavoid (6-4, 227) are expected to battle for the backup position.

"They've indicated a strong desire to work hard and have a capacity to learn," Snyder said. "They're attempting to put themselves out there as leaders, but it's harder for them because Carson has been on the field and is older in the program."

The first two running backs to get a look will be Logan Dold and Keithen Valentine.

Valentine (5-8, 197, Sr) started the first three games last year rushing for 16.1 yards per game (34 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD). Dold (6-0, 195, Soph) started three mid-year games and averaged 33.3 yards (82 carries, 333 yards, 3 TDs).

Snyder said that Lamark Brown, who led the team with 412 rushing yards last year with five touchdowns in his six starts, will be moved back to wide receiver.

"That's where he wants to play," Snyder said. Other candidates mentioned included Frank Delarue (5-8,191, redshirt-freshman), Dee Bell (5-8, 169, Soph), and Jarell Childs (6-1, 217, redshirt-freshman).

Returnees from the 2008 depth chart on the offensive line are Nick Stringer (6-6, 171, Sr), Brock Unruh (6-6, 288, Sr), Zach Kendall (6-3, 287, Jr) and Colten Freeze (6-5, 287, Fr).

Of the overall line, Snyder said, "I like the progress and work habits I've seen. Whether they have capabilities on the field remains to be seen. You can assess a lot of things in conditioning, but you can't excess how they play the game. We'll continue to work on fundamentals and see how they respond."

With the fact Deon Murphy has left the program, the leading wide receiver candidates are Brandon Banks (5-7, 142, Sr), Aubrey Quarles (5-11, 195, Sr), Attrail Snipes (6-1, 180, Sr) and Matt Wykes (6-2, 209, Sr), plus Brown (6-3, 225, Jr).

Jeron Mastrud, if healthy (6-6, 253, Sr) returns as the starting tight end.

Two-deep returnees on defense are Brandon Harold (6-6, 264, Soph) and Eric Childs (6-3, 238, Sr) at end, Daniel Calvin (6-3, 310, Sr) at tackle, linebackers Olu Hall (6-3, 230, Sr), Antonio Felder (6-2, 253, Jr), Alex Hrebec (5-11, 238, Soph), Hansen Sekona (6-0, 230, Sr), Ulla Pomele (6-1, 228, Sr) and John Houlik (5-11, 219, Sr), plus defensive backs Joshua Moore (5-11, 184, Jr), Otis Johnson (5-10, 175, Sr), Courtney Herndon (6-0, 211, Sr), Tysyn Hartman (6-3, 204, Soph), Chris Carney (6-1, 190, Sr) and Blair Irvin (6-0, 180, Sr).

Opening spring camp, junior Josh Cherry will be the likely kicker, and D.J. Fulhage the punter.

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