Cats Talented and Deep at The Ends

Players ... proven players ... will flank the defensive line as Eric Childs and Brandon Harold return as starters, and backed by the ultra-talented Kadero Terrell from Garden City Community College. It's a plus-area of the team.

Kansas State defensive end coach Joe Bob Clements doesn't blink when asked about his top candidates at defensive end: "Brandon Harold, Eric Childs and Kadero Terrell."

He adds, "We have a group of guys who have talent, but are also eager to learn. It's a group of guys playing with focus to be better players."

That's the plus side.

On the flip side, Clements said, "We're in a learning process of identifying exactly what each player does best. We could watch them run in winter conditioning, and we had the 15 practices in the spring, but we weren't able to watch them in the summer.

"It's just a continued process of getting acquainted with each other and selecting the best combination of 11 players that we can," Clement said.

Childs (6-3, 250, Sr) has played in 37 games in the last three years, which includes 20 starts in the last two seasons. The MacArthur, Texas, product totaled 52 arrests last year with 6.5 tackles for negative yardage. Against Missouri, he enjoyed a 12-tackle game helping him gain honorable mention all-Big 12 honors.

"Eric has the versatility to play on the strong side or the weak side," Clements said. "He's one of our smarter football players in understanding what he's trying to do, but also the entire offense."

In his true-freshman season, Harold (6-6, 264, Soph) started 10 games and appeared in all 12. The Sporting News publication named him to its freshman all-America team.

Harold, a former St. Louis Area Defensive Player of the Year, scored 45 tackles with a whopping 10.5 of those coming behind the line of scrimmage.

"He has a lot of talent," said Clements. "There aren't a lot of guys walking around with his size and ability. And, he's still a young player, so he has plenty of room to improve. But we love his physical presence ... his length and size."

Terrell (6-2, 235, Soph) played in 2007, but sat out the 2008 campaign while attending school at Garden City Community College.

Collectively, Clements says, "It depends on the defense you're playing as to the importance of size. Nebraska has all of those 275-pound ends, while other programs have guys 235 and 240.

"Our philosophy is finding a way to get the best 11 players on the field, and then fix a defense to the players we have."

DEFENSIVE END TWO-DEEP CANDIDATES

Eric Childs, 6-3, 250, Sr, Arlington, Texas
Brandon Harold, 6-6, 264, Soph, East St. Louis, Ill.
Kadero Terrell, 6-2, 235, Soph,, Eustis, Fla.
Grant Valentine, 6-3, 240, Jr, Burbank, Calif.
Payton Kirk, 6-6, 255, Soph, Liberty, Mo.


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