Starting for The 'Cats on Defense

MANHATTAN, Kan.- Kansas State grew its' reputation on tough rugged defense, earning the nickname the 'Lynch Mob'. Head Coach Bill SNyder has made personnel moves and looks to return to tradition. We take a look at the Cats' projected starters on Defense.

STARTING FOR THE ‘CATS ON DEFENSE…

Kansas State's defense was vastly improved over 2008, but as defensive coordinator Chris Cosh says, "We were only 6-6, so we have a lot more improving to do."

But improve K-State did from 2008 to 2009. If you don't believe it, check out these numbers:
POINTS ALLOWED –
35.8 in 2008; 23.3 in 2009

YARDS ALLOWED –
479 in 2008; 340 in 2009

RUSHING TDS ALLOWED –
31 in 2008; 10 in 2009

But in a conversation, Cosh will repeat multiple times, "We were still just 6-6."

"Our goal a year ago was to become a better tackling team, and a better pursuit team in running to the football," said Cosh. "Were we better than the year before? Yeah … but I go back to being 6-6."

He added, "Our goal last year, this year, and will be again next year, is to become a more fundamentally sound football team."

If there's a strength to the Wildcat defense it very well could be in the last line of defense where Tysyn Hartman and Emmanuel Lamur return as starters at the co-safety positions.

"There's nothing like playing experience and Tysyn and Emmanuel both have that," said first-year secondary coach Keith Burns. "They're a calming force, and their leadership has been excellent."

On either side of the safeties are a collection of four cornerbacks battling for starting assignments. The list includes David Garrett, Stephen Harrison, Matthew Pearson and Terrance Sweeney.

"All of them have a toughness about them. They're physically and mentally tough," said Burns. "It's one thing to talk about having both types of toughness, but they do. They're not just ego guys who think they don't have to study. These guys have an attitude and a work-ethic that you like."

The linebacker positions will be manned by Jarell Childs, who is making the move from running back last year, at the "Will," while returning starter Alex Hrebec will be at the "Mike," and Troy Butler at what Cosh calls a "hybrid" position of linebacker-safety.

While none are all-Big 12 candidates, Cosh says, "I trust them. They're competitive and they care about each other. They want to do well, but they don't want the other guy to do poorly. They're just out there trying to make each other better."

Manning the end positions will be Brandon Harold, who missed the 2009 season after earning freshman all-American honors in 2008, plus Antonio Felder.

"He hasn't been on the field for a while, so we hope he can fall back on some of that experience of two years ago," said ends coach Joe Bob Clements of Harold. "He has a long, tall body, has some strength and is just an overall athletic kid, who has a high ceiling he can reach."

Inside the ends are Ray Kibble and Prizell Brown. Kibble (6-4, 296) is a freshman transfer from Navarro Junior College, while Brown (6-2, 265) is a returning starter from last year. "Both of these guys improved a great deal last spring, and even more during the summer," said tackle coach Mo Latimore.

And the hope is, that improvement will also be shown in the win-loss column, which means better than 6-6.


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