Spring Footbal - Consistently Inconsistent

The Early Results are in for Spring Football...Pieces are falling into place in Kansas State's spring football camp, but inconsistencies in practice continue to plague the Wildcats. The process for Coach Snyder has begun and this is what he had to say about the progress made so far....

"Vastly inconsistent."

Those are the two words Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder used to define the first two weeks of spring drills.

"The improvement," he would add, "has been very, very inconsistent. I have seen some sparks, but they go out rather quickly. But I have certainly seen them."

The biggest plus area has been with the group of linebackers, which includes John Houlik, Ulla Pomele and Alex Hrebec heading the way in what will be a 4-2-5 defensive look in 2009.

They have improved overall, and collectively as a group," Snyder said. "I think they have done a commendable job of picking up the system, attempting to execute the system, and making somewhat of a consistent improvement day-to-day."

The Wildcat coach added, "If there is any place where we are deep, and we're not very deep, we're deep at linebacker. We may have to redshirt 100 of them. Fundamentally, they've shown the capability of executing what the coaches are asking them to do. They have responded quite well across the board."

While not mentioning names, Snyder said, "The secondary has got to get better, but we don't have all the people in place right now that we will have. We have a few guys recovering from injuries from last year."

Brandon Harold, Eric Childs and Grant Valentine are rotating at d-end, while Snyder would only say a half-dozen guys have worked in the interior with each "... showing the capacity to do some positive things, but there is as much inconsistent play there as any place."

Snyder would only call the defense a "broad based" package. "We've implemented all of it to test the product and the capability of the players to perform."

The Wildcat coach said the defense will have an "attack" nature, but the current focus is just learning the capacity to line up and play, understand assignments, pursue the football with a great effort, and make sure we're good tacklers."

He added that there will be a package of blitzes and stunts "... like every team has." The first player mentioned on offense is 6-foot-7, 288-pound sophomore tackle Clyde Aufner, plus Nick Stringer and Zach Kendall.

But after that, the highlights have been more misses than hits, which includes the quarterback position.

"Those inconsistencies that we talk about flourish at the quarterback position," Snyder said. "Carson (Coffman) has taken the vast majority of the snaps, but that is not in any stretch of the imagination written in stone." Collin Klein and Joseph Kassanavoid have shared the other reps.

With all, Snyder said, "There is a high degree of inconsistency that we have to vastly improve on. When you've installed that much offense, it slows down the reaction time, but with more repetitions, the quicker it comes to you in terms of responding and reacting."

The Wildcat coach said that "80 to 85 percent" of the offense was in, which will now be followed by "fine tuning each segment."

Rounding out the offense is the 1-2 running punch of Keithen Valentine and Logan Dold, while working at fullback are freshmen in Jarrel Childs (6-1, 220) and Braden Wilson (6-4, 245).

Jeron Mastrud holds the tight end position, while Brandon Banks and Lamark Brown have been the leading receivers, with Attrail Snipes, Bobby Hauver and Matt Wykes also working high in the rotation.

In terms of consistency, Snyder said of the collection of wide-outs, "I can't tell you right now that anyone has stepped up front and center, but we have guys who certainly have a chance.

Lamark has shown some flashes in practices." Snyder calls long-snapper Corey Adams the most consistent player on the team, and says that Josh Cherry and Ryan Doerr, a transfer from South Carolina, as leading the way in terms of kicking and punting.

Banks is being used as the primary return man for both kickoffs and punts. Overall, Snyder said the priority starts on defense, followed by special teams, followed by "... security on offense. By that I mean we don't want an offense that is handing the ball off to someone in a different colored jersey." He added, "I do think we are making some headway in regards to how we practice."


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