Campus Corner

August 30, 2013

Football Friday: How K-State might use Sams, D-line expectations, Arrowhead rumor

Well, here we go. As promised on Twitter, here is the debut of our new weekly K-State mailbag. Hope it is worth the $50 and case of beer I promised Sam Mellinger for copying Twitter Tuesday.

Campus Corner

The Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri

Well, here we go. As promised on Twitter, here is the debut of our new weekly mailbag. Hope it is worth the $50 and case of beer I promised Sam Mellinger for copying Twitter Tuesday. At the moment, the mailbag is called Football Friday. Lame name, I know, but the questions are all about K-State football and it is Friday, so at least it’s accurate. We might change the name later on. We’ll see. For now, let’s focus on tonight’s game between Kansas State and North Dakota State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and get to your questions. Just a reminder, if you have a question that is too long for Twitter you can also ask questions via email: Here we go. Bill Snyder said Daniel Sams could see as few as five snaps or as many as 50. That’s a huge gap, so the final number will almost certainly end up in the middle. My guess: About 15. It really depends on how well he moves the ball. If Snyder puts him in and he goes three-and-out each time his snap count won’t get very high. If he guides the offense into the end zone, his snaps will rise. I think Jake Waters will end up getting roughly 75 percent of the snaps if he plays well. He was the clear winner of the quarterback competition, and his strong arm might take K-State’s offense in a new direction. He deserves lots of playing time. That being said, Sams is too gifted an athlete to keep him on the bench all night. They will both get meaningful snaps. I really like Blake Slaughter’s upside. The last time we saw him, he was in the middle of an up-and-down sophomore season. He started four games, played in 12 and made 13 tackles against Central Florida (an important win). He was also non-existent at times. I wanted to see what he could do as an upperclassman, but then Arthur Brown took all of his playing time as a junior. Slaughter made the brilliant (and unusual) decision to redshirt after that season. Now he’s a starter and a team captain as a senior. As the team’s middle linebacker, he should pile up tackles. Also worth keeping an eye on at linebacker: Charmeachealle (Mike) Moore. The sophomore will be Tre Walker’s backup, but he can really play. The NCAA announced its half-game slap on the wrist on Wednesday. Our only media availability this week was on Tuesday. So I haven’t heard any opinions on the matter from K-State players or coaches. But I’m sure their reactions would have been like everyone else’s: mixed. The second K-State switched its season-opener to a Friday night, that rumor took off and never looked back. K-State wanted to make sure Arrowhead Stadium was available, just in case the West Stadium Center wasn’t constructed in time. It was an interesting theory, one that K-State administrators were still joking about Thursday during a media tour of the new facility. But, c’mon, there was no way K-State was opening the 2013 season off campus. Hundreds of workers crammed into Snyder Family Stadium seven days a week to make sure construction remained ahead of schedule. There was no fallback plan. It had to get done, and it got done. Bill Snyder said most of K-State’s freshman class will redshirt, but he might let two or so play right away. Jordan Willis was fantastic at Rockhurst last season, and could provide help at defensive end as the season goes on. With the departure of Devon Nash, K-State might need depth at the position. But he isn’t on the two-deep, and coaches seem to be higher on Tanner Wood, who can play linebacker and defensive end. My guess is he will redshirt, but we might see him later on. I think K-State coaches like the defensive line, even though all four starters are new. Someone who has access to practice told me it held its own against a much more experienced offensive line during fall camp. Travis Britz hinted at the same thing earlier this week. Britz showed flashes of greatness last year and should be even better as a sophomore. I’ve also heard good things about Chaquil Reed. Snyder seems to like their backups, and says they will play. While it’s good to have depth, that might not be ideal. Defensive tackle it is a very important position. You want your starters to get in a good flow, just like at quarterback. Gotta admit, I love this question as a huge #USMNT fan. My first reaction is to say he would make a good wide receiver. Dempsey is fast and can run for days. But he has to have terrible hands, right? He plays soccer. So maybe he could cut it as a cornerback. Or we could skip past all that and just make him the kicker.

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