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Kansas State Players To Watch This Weekend

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Let’s take a look at some of the most hyped SnyderCats that will be on the field this Saturday.Quarterback Jesse Ertz, No. 16After redshirting and rehabbing his knee from an ACL tear in high school, sophomore quarterback Jesse Ertz had just won a hard fought battle in fall camp and taken over the job to lead the K-State Wildcats.  On the first play from scrimmage in a non-conference bout against the University of South Dakota, Ertz took off for a five yard run and tore the same ACL that he did as a senior in high school. Fast forward to 2016, Ertz was able to win the job in fall camp over his replacement Joe Huebner who didn’t find great success while he was out (and Kody Cook who played against OSU last year graduated). Ertz has shown tremendous athleticism in his time back on the field, averaging nearly 60 yards per game on the ground good for 12th in the conference. College football fans have heard about Trevor Knight’s ground exploits at Texas A&M, Ertz has ran the ball just two times less and for 52 less yards.Ertz and his decision making play a big part in the offense as you’d expect whether that’s with draws, sweeps and speed options on the ground or spreading the ball around 20 plus times a game. The K-State offense/team strives to play mistake-free, conservative football that hogs the clock and keeps your offense off the field. Ertz does a great job at making that happen. Wide Receiver Byron Pringle, No. 9How did the explosive 6’2”, 205 pound receiver wind up as a 22 year old sophomore at Kansas State? Growing up in a tough area in Tampa, Florida, Pringle was offered a scholarship to play at Youngstown State in Ohio but didn’t quite make it onto the field because of some legal issues. He wound up taking two years off from football (2012, 2013) before he found his way to Butler Community College in Kansas, where he got his priorities in order redshirting in 2014 and played a year of fantastic football for the Butler Grizzlies in 2015. Rated by numerous services as a top 100 junior college player nationally, Snyder and the Wildcats took a chance on him and it looks like it will pay off.  While there has been a learning curve for the juco transfer, Pringle has been picking it up as time goes on and will only improve. Both his junior college coach and Snyder rave about his explosiveness and ability to snatch passes out of the air with ease, pumping up his potential whenever possible. The Big 12’s leading kick returner, Pringle averages nearly 29 yards per return and has already ran back a kick earlier this year. While he’s still finding his way around the K-State offense, look out when he finds his way. Fullback Winston Dimel, No. 38Another impact player for the Wildcats is redshirt sophomore fullback Winston Dimel, also the son of co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel. The local player from Manhattan, Kansas redshirted in 2014 then earned All-Big 12 at fullback as a freshman in 2015, things are looking good for the bruiser. Dimel is used in a variety of ways in the offense, with the majority being to spring quarterback Jesse Ertz or any of the running backs for longer runs, Dimel sees a lot of action down close to the goal line as a runner, pass catcher and at times as a wildcat quarterback. While questions of nepotism have come and gone, Dimel is just what you would think of for a Bill Snyder coached football player: a tough, hard-nosed no frills guy who gets the job done. Linebacker Elijah Lee, No. 9Coach Gundy speaking of the K-State defense was quoted this week saying that he’s “been watching ‘em all year and nobody’s scoring on them.” Junior linebacker Elijah Lee is one of the biggest reasons for that as Kansas State’s leading tackler (59) is on pace to have 103 tackles this year. The transition from high school defensive end to 2nd team All-Big 12 linebacker in 2015 appears to have been a smooth one as the speedy Lee covers the field from sideline to sideline. Lee averages ten tackles per game in conference play and is player that “shows up on all the (watch)lists”, someone the Cowboys will be on the watch for this week. Defensive End Jordan Willis, No. 75A stalwart at defensive end, senior Jordan Willis has started the past 34 games and has been very productive. The Wildcat defender leads the conference in sacks (8.0) and is second in tackles for loss (11.5). He had 9.5 sacks in 2015 and was recently named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after K-State beat Texas a few weeks ago. He’s forced six fumbles, the current leader among Big 12 players, Mason will have to be careful to avoid any of his old struggles with fumbling issues. The senior captain may be less hyped than Wildcat standouts in recent history, but he was named the “best pass rusher in the Big 12” by one publication and named preseason All B12 about anywhere you look. He’s currently fourth on the all-time K-State career sack leaders list with 22.5 since 2013. A stereotypical K-State success story, the under-the-radar Willis came from Kansas City powerhouse program Rockhurt to Manhattan, turning down only an offer from Indiana, to be one of the great pass rushers in program history. From a recent interview with ESPN, Willis talked about how he loves NASCAR and his favorite driver is Martin Truex, Jr. citing his consistency as the reason. K-State fans will really miss the consistency of Jordan Willis when his eligibility finally expires. last_img read more

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