The Fate of the Furious comes out today, which gives me the perfect excuse to drop Vin Diesel and Paul Walker references throughout this week’s K-State Q&A.
Not that I really need an excuse, of course. This is my Q&A and I love the Fast and Furious movie franchise. Seen all seven of them multiple times (5 and 7 are the best) and plan to see the eighth this weekend. Theoretically, I could use this theme whenever I want while I live my life a quarter mile at a time. But this seems like an appropriate Friday to activate the NOS and see if I can win a head-to-head battle with a plane or tank.
But first, let’s walk through the basics. What do I need to pull off a high-octane themed Q&A like this?
For starters, I need a good Gif to promote it on social media. What else? I am going to need a few good YouTube clips to embed with my answers. I got that. But most of all, I am going to need several precision Twitter followers to ask great questions. Twitter followers who don’t crack under pressure. Twitter followers who never lose.
You know I got that!
Doesn’t matter if you prefer imports or American muscle, as long as you aren’t a buster you are going to like the words that follow.
I feel comfortable projecting Trent Tanking as a starter. The veteran special-teamer came on strong at the end of his junior year like a man racing for pink slips and he seems poised for a solid run as a senior. His teammates all point to him as a leader, and there’s a decent shot he ends up being voted captain. I expect him to have a nice spring game and step into a larger role next season.
The other linebacker spots have more mystery to them. Junior-college transfer Da’Quan Patton looks physically ready to play, and he is turning heads in practice. I could see him starting next season. Maybe not right away, though. K-State’s defensive scheme isn’t the easiest thing in the world to learn, and for all of his upside it may take a while for Patton to master it. Daniel Green will be in a similar situation once he arrives on campus.
Sam Sizelove and Jayd Kirby may have the inside track at starting spots, at least initially. That will be one of the most interesting positions to watch throughout the spring and summer.
At safety, it will come down to Sean Newlan, Denzel Goolsby and newcomer Elijah Walker, though he could maybe play slot corner, instead. I like Goolsby and think he has more upside than Newlan, but Newlan has the experience edge. For now, I would favor Newlan in that spot.
Linebacker seems like the more important position. Elijah Lee and Charmeachealle Moore were two of K-State’s leading tacklers a year ago and made Paul Walker-type contributions. The Wildcats need to find someone to fill those slots. Barnett’s leadership will be hard to replace, but his on-field production wasn’t impressive last season.
That seems a little soon, considering how much he has to learn. It took the FF team until the end of Fast Five to rob the Brazilian police station. But it’s possible. Here’s guessing his playing time increases with each game.
My vote goes to D.J. Reed.
The junior corner isn’t always perfect. He makes mistakes. Sometimes big mistakes. But he is always zooming around like a 10-second car, trying to eat all he can while he can. And when he makes big plays, they are truly highlights. He strikes me as the type of person who could sprint off the top of a bus while it was falling over the side of a cliff and survive. He defended 19 passes last season, had three interceptions and scored a touchdown. He may also contribute on special teams this season. I want to see what he can do this season.
Three names come to mind: Winston Dimel, Dayton Valentine and Reid Najvar.
They seem best-suited to survive in a brawl with The Rock.
Bill Snyder is the only person I know that speaks about family as much as Dominic Toretto, so let’s go with him.
Deckard Shaw is the alpha villain of the Fast and Furious movies. Who is the alpha villan to K-State? Has to be Sirr Parker, doesn’t it?
One of the reasons I love 2 Fast 2 Furious is that it replaces Ja Rule with Ludacris, a tremendous switch for the franchise. Can you imagine Ja Rule in those movies today? I could care less what happened to his character. Given how poorly he handled his ride in the original movie, here’s guessing he dropped out of racing. A yogurt shop seems like a good place for him.
Jesse was gunned down by Johnny Tran, so we know what happened to him. I think you meant to refer to Leon, who vanished after the failed highway robbery. I do wonder why he hasn’t appeared in any other films. Everyone else has.
I imagine it’s some sort of trick to actually benefit his family, but I’ve got my popcorn ready to find out.
Jesse Ertz started all 13 games last season, but he did so while playing through a serious shoulder injury that required surgery. So I want to say over. He’s tough enough to play hurt. Then again, he was lost for the season in the first game two years ago. The year before that Jake Waters played hurt. Collin Klein was constantly beat up when he was the QB. Every K-State quarterback tends to get hurt on some level. With Alex Delton showing progress this spring, maybe the coaching staff would be more willing to let Ertz take a game off if need be.
Still, I’m thinking he holds it together and starts every game. If he is truly too hurt to play, my guess is K-State will find ways to run Delton while also playing Ertz.
Skylar Thompson may decimate all once he matures, but I seriously doubt he starts any games this season. Too soon, junior.
So let’s go over, under, under.
Wesley Iwundu seems like a lock to become K-State’s first NBA Draft pick since 2008.
By my count, there are two longer streaks in the Big 12. Texas Tech last produced a draft pick in 2004. TCU hasn’t had one since 1999. The next NBA Draft picks from those schools deserves a Corona.
Well, they also beat Texas Tech 5-3 last night. That’s a nice step in the right direction.
Maybe they are like Michelle Rodriguez. They were never dead, they just briefly lost their memory.
Before Thursday’s victory, which moved K-State to 17-16, the Bat Cats had taken quite the tumble. They got off to a promising start, even beating South Carolina on the road. But they are now 2-10 in their last 12 games and solidly in last place of the Big 12 standings. At 1-8 in conference play, they are two games back of Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma State for eighth (and sixth).
They have pitched well at times, but the offense rarely seems to show up. They need more games like this last one if they hope to reach the Big 12 Tournament.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett