Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Running backs, surprise players, pregame football music and more

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

There are lots of great topics to cover this week, so let’s dive right into them. Thanks, as always, for your participation.

I touched on this some in today’s story about the K-State running backs, but I am expecting K-State’s 2019 backfield to mirror North Dakota State’s 2018 backfield, at least when it comes to distribution of carries.

The Bison got lots of running backs involved last season, and four of them ended up toting the rock 82 or more times.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Bruce Anderson - 924 yards on 124 carries.
  • Lance Dunn - 880 yards on 160 carries.
  • Ty Brooks - 750 yards on 104 carries.
  • Adam Cofield - 563 yards on 82 carries.

Those North Dakota State running backs combined for 31.3 carries per game. The most any of them saw in a single outing was 23.

Klieman and Company will keep the RBBC rolling this season at K-State. I think we will see Jordon Brown, James Gilbert and Harry Trotter share most of the carries, while Tyler Burns or a freshman like Joe Ervin helps out with the occasional rush.

I don’t expect much separation at the position.

Alex Barnes led all K-State running backs with 256 carries last season, outpacing Dalvin Warmack by 220(!) rushing attempts. That won’t happen again.

Brown seems like the favorite to lead the backfield in carries, but I don’t think he will see many more touches than Gilbert or Trotter. All three could flirt with 100 carries.

By the end of the season I’m guessing Brown has about 130 carries, Gilbert around 110 and Trotter a little less. Everyone else at the position will combine for maybe 50 touches.

What do you mean by unexpected?

It won’t surprise me in the slightest if Joshua Youngblood catches a touchdown pass in the first three games. The freshman receiver has been hyped since he arrived on campus, so nothing he does will really feel “unexpected.”

If you are simply looking for young or unproven players who are ready to make an impact, I recommend you keep an eye on Youngblood, Wykeen Gill, Joe Ervin, Wayne Jones, Phillip Brooks and Daniel Green.

They all seem ready, or at least capable, of helping early.

But it’s a bit harder to single out a truly “unexpected” contributor. Jax Dineen could fall into that category. K-State wants to use fullbacks and tight ends interchangeably, and he could see time as a blocker, especially if Adam Harter can’t get healthy. I am also curious to see if someone like Sammy Wheeler is ready to help in the passing game at tight end.

Offensive line is another spot to keep an eye on. Noah Johnson and Kaitori Leveston could both contribute in reserve roles.

I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions based on the short highlight videos K-State shares on social media.

A walk-on defensive back missing a tackle in a one-on-one drill in August won’t doom the entire unit this season. I’ve seen some good tackles, too.

Chris Klieman is a defensive guy and he hired a staff filled with assistant coaches who know everything there is to know about tackling. They should be solid on defense, especially up front.

Preseason camp has certainly been a new experience for me, and everyone else on the beat.

With Bill Snyder’s closed-door policy, the two most important events of the summer were always Big 12 media days in July and K-State’s local media hour in early August.

You had to make those two days count, because they were all we got until game week. And it was our only opportunity to talk to coordinators all year.

Any small bit of on-the-record analysis felt like a news story. You tried your best to spread out as many articles as you could over a month, but they always felt stale by the end.

Everything is more laid back now. If you need a follow-up interview with a coach or a player, you are going to get it. You don’t have to use back channels to find out who is looking good at practice. You can ask directly.

The biggest change is probably the sheer amount of information we can now report. There’s honestly too much to include in traditional stories. There are things I used to write 500 words about that now get condensed into a single Tweet.

It’s a lot more fun. I hope the K-State football team and all you readers are also enjoying the new setup.

K-State will let fans vote on what pregame songs they want to hear from a music playlist chosen by the football team this season, so everyone will have input as the Wildcats transition away from Snyder Music.

But I’m glad to offer some suggestions here.

1. Sandstorm by Darude: Might as well give the people what they want.

2. All I do is Win by DJ Khaled: Play it until Klieman loses his first game.

3. Stronger by Kanye: Excellent pump-up tune.

4. Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus: You like this song, too. Don’t pretend that you don’t.

5. Sellout by Reel Big Fish: Ska is ready to make a comeback. Might as well be ahead of the trend.

I watched a guy paint and sing the national anthem at the same time last week at a Sporting KC match. That was incredible. I want to see him again in Manhattan.

More flyovers would also be nice.

Otherwise, I like everything that is already in the works. The Wildcats need a new entrance video and pregame music, and that’s all on the way.

I’m not proud of this, but one of my first purchases as a college student was a Limp Bizkit poster from their Significant Other album. It seemed like a cool thing to display on my dorm wall in 2001. How young and foolish I was. At least it wasn’t Creed.

I also had a panoramic poster of the Austin, Texas skyline. I wanted something to remind me of my hometown, and that did the trick. Still have it today, actually. Can’t say the same for that other poster, which was trashed when I moved out of my dorm.

One day after a little league baseball practice, my dad took me to a 7-Eleven for some refreshments. It was the early 1990s and the Big Gulp was at its peak of popularity. Everyone wanted one, including me.

But when I went to go grab a cup at this particular store I was struck by how many different sizes you could choose from. The Big Gulp wasn’t even the biggest one. There was a Gulp, a Super Big Gulp, a Double Gulp and lots of other names I can’t remember. The one that truly caught my eye, though, wasn’t even a cup. It was a box. If you were thirsty enough, they had some sort of liquid-proof box you could assemble in front of the soda fountain and then fill it up with your favorite beverage.

It was several feet long. It had to hold 150 ounces. I want to say it was called the Ultra Gulp, but I’m not completely sure on that.

Anyway, I watched in awe as a man assembled one of these boxes and filled it up with Dr Pepper. My father wouldn’t let me do the same. I was so jealous.

I vowed to one day return to that 7-Eleven and buy my own Ultra Gulp, but they discontinued the box and I never saw it again.

Bring it back. I want to live out my dream!

They are OK. I really like some of the flavors and really hate some of the others.

The new 14% ABV seltzer and the hilariously named Natural Light seltzers intrigue me.

I will always be more of a beer guy, but I will drink an alcoholic seltzer on a hot day.

Stanford was ranked No. 8 in the preseason AP poll when K-State made the trek to Palo Alto, California. in Week 1 three years ago.

The Cardinal win this debate in a landslide.

North Dakota State was ranked No. 1 in the preseason FCS poll back in 2013. The Bison might be next.

UCLA at home in 2010 was the only other non cupcake in Week 1 this decade.

Jonathan Beasley was a good quarterback on some really good teams that won 11 games in back-to-back seasons with him as the starter. So an argument could be made here.

He’s definitely one of the best quarterbacks in K-State history. But I think he’s a notch below guys like Michael Bishop, Ell Roberson and Collin Klein.

Beasley threw for 2,636 yards as a senior, which is pretty good, but he also failed to complete half his passes that year.

I would put him in the same group as Jake Waters, Josh Freeman and Chad May. Their numbers are all better, but Beasley won more games.

Gene Taylor has said he hopes to announce specific fundraising projects within K-State’s facilities master plan in the next few months. Nothing is set in stone right now, but here’s guessing they lead with renovations to the south end of Bill Snyder Family Stadium (new video boards!) and the north end of Bramlage Coliseum.

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