After three days of spring football, coach Bill Snyder wasn't putting an A-B-C grade on the work of his Wildcats, but he did say the Wildcats were getting a passing grade.
The first day last week when K-State was installing all the offense and defense, Snyder said, "I thought our players retained things extremely well, and better than expected."
The Wildcat coach went on to say, compared to a year ago, that the "spirit has improved, which was important to me; our leadership has improved, which was important to me; and I think we're becoming a tougher-minded football team, which was important to me."
From a Friday evening practice without pads, to a Saturday morning session with pads, Snyder said the players, for the most part, "handled that well and demonstrated a mental toughness."
In addition, to one year ago, Snyder said that this year's unit is "… working quicker and we can do more athletic things than at the end of the previous out-of-season program. Most of that is centered on change of direction and agility type drills.
"I thought, A, the effort was better than a year ago, I thought the fundamentals of changing direction was better than a year ago, and their ability to sustain work over a period of time has gotten better," said Snyder.
Combined with the improved leadership, improved spirit and improved effort, Snyder said, "It's just made us better than a year ago."
Now, the goal is, as it always is with a Snyder-coached football team, to get better day-by-day. With each of the 15 practice days, Snyder says, "We want to get better every day. That's the focus each and every day."
Another emphasis during spring camp is being able to "finish." That stretches from finishing a single drill, to a single play, to finishing a workout / game, or finishing a season. It was a year ago that K-State finished the final month of the season with a 1-3 record, which left them at 6-6 for the season.
NO. 1 QUESTION:
The first question out of Monday's initial press conference of the spring camp had to deal with the quarterback position.
"I'm not prepared to make a first-team, second-team, third-team distinction at this time," said Snyder. "Sammuel probably has the longest route to travel, mainly due to inexperience and not being involved in the offense like the others have."
Lamur, who has previous stops at Joliet Junior College and Independence Junior College, was the Scout Team quarterback last year and the Scout Team Player of the Year.
"We'd like for someone to surface above someone else, but at this point in time, that hasn't taken place, and I didn't anticipate it would take place this early," said Snyder.
Of the three candidates, Snyder said, "Colin is perhaps a little taller and a little more physical than the other two. Samuel is probably the quickest of the three, although all are acceptable, and experience in the system favors Carson because he's had far more reps in practice and game environment with this particular offense. The decision making process favors Carson at this point in time."
In terms of throwing the football, Snyder said it's varied as to who comes out with the better completion percentage each day, and when packaged within a quarterback-run game, the Wildcat coach said, "They're all relatively close, but Sammuel has a little bit better change of direction and quickness."
Asked whether Klein might return to wide receiver should he not end up the No. 1 QB, Snyder said it would depend on whether he established himself as the No. 2 quarterback or No. 3 quarterback.
"That would determine what percent of the time we would work him at wide receiver," Snyder said. "Colin will play, we just don't know where."
A year ago Klein had two starts at wide receiver. He caught six passes for 38 yards for the year.
ONE POSITION CHANGE:
Snyder indicated that there was only one significant position change with Jarell Childs, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound sophomore, making the move from running back to linebacker.
The move, Snyder said, "…was based on his performance during the out-of-season program and his ability to change directions. He proved to us that he had the skill set to play linebacker, plus we feel like we have relatively decent depth at the running back position and this will give Jarell a better chance to get on the field." Childs had 81 yards rushing last year.
Snyder indicated that safety Tysyn Hartman was going through some of the spring work, but without contact due to a knee injury suffered in the final game of the 2009 season.