2013 Kansas State Preview - Offense
2013 CollegeFootballNews.com Preview - Kansas State Wildcat Offense
Kansas State Wildcats
Preview 2013 - Offense
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Kansas State Offense
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What You Need To Know:
The offense might not be as good, but it'll be effective again. The offensive coordinator combination of Del Miller and Dana Dimel have a few tweaks to do, but they have a tremendous base of veterans to work with. First and foremost, the attack has to replace Heisman-caliber quarterback Collin Klein, but Daniel Sams is even more athletic and Jake Waters is a better pure passer – they're not Klein, but one of them will be more than fine. No. 1 receiver Chris Harper is gone, but the rest of the top wideouts are back led by the explosive Tyler Lockett. The key will be the running game that welcomes back John Hubert in the backfield working behind a terrific line that returns all five starters.
Star of the offense: Senior RB John Hubert
Passing: Daniel Sams
6-8, 55 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: John Hubert
189 carries, 947 yds, 15 TD
Receiving: Tyler Lockett
44 catches, 687 yds, 4 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore QB Daniel Sams and/or junior QB Jake Waters
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OG Boston Stiverson
Best pro prospect: Junior WR Tyler Lockett (as a kick returner)
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Hubert, 2) C B.J. Finney, 3) OT Cornelius Lucas
Strength of the offense: Offensive Line, Running Game
Weakness of the offense: Collin Klein, No. 2 Running Back
Collin Klein is an impossible leader and talent to replace, but sophomore Daniel Sams could turn out to be a more dangerous all-around playmaker. The 6-2, 211-pound talent if very fast, very athletic and has the ability to be a dangerous dual-threat option as the perfect fit for the Bill Snyder offense. The New Orleans native got in a little bit of work as a freshman completing 6-of-8 passes for 55 yards and running for 235 yards and three scores, and now he's going to get the first shot at replacing Klein and grow into a statistical superstar. He has the arm and the mobility, but now he needs the time logged in.
In to challenge for the starting gig is Jake Waters, a 6-2, 215-pound JUCO transfer from Iowa Western CC who earned the 2012 NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year honors hitting 73% of his passes for 3,501 yards and 39 scores with three picks. While he's not Sams as a runner, he's mobile enough to take off from time to time to go along with his solid, accurate passing arm.
Watch Out For … Jesse Ertz, a decent option for the near future. The Wildcat quarterback situation will come down to Sams and Waters, but the 6-4, 199-pound Ertz comes in as the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year with a terrific passing arm and state championship-level track star speed. He might need developing, but there's huge upside.
Strength: Mobility. Waters can move and Sams can really move. There might not be the power of Klein under center, but Kansas State knows how to get rushing production out of its quarterbacks, but the speed and ability are there to crank out big yards.
Weakness: Experience. The quarterback situation will be great, but Klein was a Heisman-caliber leader and playmaker – he won't just be replaced. His 23 rushing scores and efficient passing ability have to be accounted for.
Outlook: Expect more of the same. There might be a quarterback rotation and it might take the entire offseason to come up with the starter, but Sams and Waters are terrific talents who'll put up big numbers – no matter who's under center. In some ways there will be a drop-off from Klein, but in terms of explosiveness, it could be a step back to take a big leap forward.
Unit Rating: 7
Collin Klein might have received most of the credit and most of the attention for the offense but senior John Hubert led the team with 947 rushing yards and 15 scores averaging 5.0 yards per try. While he didn't do much for the passing game, he caught 18 passes for 98 yards and a score. Dominant over the first part of the season with four 100-yard games in the first five outings with eight scores including four against Kansas, his production dropped off over the second half of the season without any 20-carry games after running 22 times in Week Six against Iowa State. Great around the goal line, he scored three times against Texas and twice against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, but now he'll be needed more to carry the load. The 5-7, 191-pounder isn't big, but he's tough with cut-on-a-dime quickness and athleticism. He might not be a 25-carry workhorse, but he has enough tread left on the tires to do far more.
The 5-6, 209-pound DeMarcus Robinson was a tremendous prospect for the Wildcats a few years ago, but he has yet to do much with just 25 rushing yards in a limited role. Extremely fast with tremendous quickness, he fits the Kansas State mold. To get even smaller, the Wildcats have 5-4, 176-pound Miami native Robert Rose to get in a few carries. Impossible to find behind his blockers, Rose has the ability to dart in and out of traffic, but he can't take too many shots, only seeing time in three games last season rushing for nine yards.
Junior Zach Nemechek is a 6-3, 243-pounder of a runner and a part-time tight end .He didn't get the ball last season, but he's a huge blocker with great toughness and blasting ability. He'll work in a rotation with Glenn Gronkowski, a 6-3, 234-pound redshirt freshman and the brother of superstar New England tight end, Rob. A great receiver as well as a tough-guy blocker, he can do a little of everything for the attack.
Watch Out For … Robinson. The Wildcats didn't bring in any running back options and need to find helpers for Hubert. Robinson isn't the runner Hubert is, but he's quick, strong and good enough to be a much bigger part of the attack. KSU has to find a No. 2 back who can handle ten carries or so a game.
Strength: The offense. The Kansas State running game will always work, and while the quarterbacks will take on a bulk of the load, the running backs always produce big numbers, too. Hubert should hit the 1,000-yard mark.
Weakness: The sure-thing No. 2 back. It's not like Angelo Pease cranked out huge numbers, running for just 333 yards, but he got in a little work. If it's not Robinson, there will be major concerns if something happens to Hubert.
Outlook: As always, the backfield is loaded with extremely quickness and lots of great athletes, but the star for the ground game will be the starting quarterback, particularly if it's Sams. The running backs have to be complementary and blow up when the opportunities are there – Hubert can do that.
Unit Rating: 7.5
Leading receiver Chris Harper is gone, but all-around weapon Tyler Lockett is back after earning All-Big 12 honors as a kick returner as well as a receiver. The senior isn't all that big at 5-11 and 175 pounds, but he's fast, shifty and dangerous averaging 15.6 yards per catch finishing second on the team with 44 grabs for 687 yards and four scores. While he can also be used as a runner from time to time, he's at his best when he gets the ball on the move averaging a whopping 33.8 yards per kickoff return with two scores in each of the last two years. While he's not necessarily a true No. 1 go-to guy, he can hit the home run catching nine passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns in an explosive day against West Virginia. Working behind him is junior Curry Sexton, a promising prospect who came to Kansas State as a top recruit, but has yet to do much of anything on the field. An all-star in the classroom, he needs to start doing more for the team than be a nice special teamer after making seven catches for 75 yards with a touchdown.
While Lockett looks ready to do even more for the passing game, so does senior Tremaine Thompson, a smallish 5-8, 167-pound veteran who finished third on the team with 37 catches for 526 yards and four scores highlighted by a five catch, 102-yard, two score day against North Texas. While he's not all that big, he's extremely fast with the ability to score from anywhere on the field. He'll be backed up by veteran Torrell Miller, a 6-2, 216-pound senior who adds more size to the position, but he only caught four passes for 40 yards with a score. The former defensive backs is physical, but his score against Baylor was the lone highlight.
The passing game loses tough tight end Travis Tannahill and needs junior Zach Trujillo to become a main option after catching just two passes for 72 yards with a 58-yard play against Miami. At 6-5 and 256 pounds he has the right size, and he's a terrific blocker, but he's also a dangerous receiver with excellent upside. Fullback/tight end Zach Nemecheck is more of a blocker than a receiver, but the 6-3, 243-pound junior will work in a variety of ways.
Watch Out For … LeAndrew Gordon. The new recruit is only 5-7 and 160 pounds – and that's being generous – but he's going to be one of the fastest players in the Big 12. A Tyler Lockett clone, he'll be used as a returner and runner as well as a receiver.
Strength: Extreme speed. Kansas State always seems to find really, really fast guys who can stretch the field, and while there isn't a ton of size, and the top targets aren't going to block anyone, but they can move. With defenses concentrating so much on stopping the run, the opportunities are going to be there for big plays.
Weakness: Size. Miller has an NFL frame, but that's it among the KSU receivers. Thompson and Lockett are wisps who can be erased by a decent push. If the Wildcat receivers aren't in space, they're not effective.
Outlook: It's all about the opportunities. Harper was the type of target to revolve a passing game around, and while there isn't that type of receiver on this year's team – even though Lockett is close – there are enough playmakers to take advantage of their chances. As long as this group hits a few home runs now and then, it'll be doing its job.
Unit Rating: 7
The line that was so fantastic last season and allowed just 14 sacks gets everyone back led by senior Cornelius Lucas, a massive 6-9, 328-pound pass protector who took over the left tackle job and never let it go on the way to First Team All-Big 12 honors. While he wasn't a top recruit, he has grown over the years and turned into a dominant force last season. He'll be backed up by senior William Cooper, a 6-4, 307-pounder who has the smarts and the athleticism, but he doesn't have much time logged in seeing just a little time last season. At the very least, he's a quicker option than Lucas.
Likely starting at right tackle is 6-4, 309-pound sophomore Cody Whitehair, an up-and-coming blocker who earned all-star honors last season after starting most of the year at guard. While he's physical – the coaching staff toyed with the idea of putting him at defensive tackle out of high school – he's quick enough and good enough to hold down the job on the outside. If he moves back to guard, 6-5, 280-pound senior Tavon Rooks will get the job at tackle after earning Honorable Mention All-Big 12 recognition. Built like a big tight end, the former JUCO transfer moves extremely well and is great in pass protection.
Returning to his spot as the anchor and leader is junior B.J. Finney, a two-time All-Big 12 mauler who's quick off the ball and great at generating a big push in the interior. The former walk-on turned into the team's captain and the rock-steady leader up front. At 6-4 and 303 pounds he's big, strong and experienced – he'll likely be the Big 12's best center.
Senior Keenan Taylor saw plenty of backup and special teams work over the first part of his career before getting into a battle for a job, and last year he started every game and turned in a nice year. The 6-4, 290-pounder was a great recruit for the program, and while he might not be an all-star, he's a steady starter at right guard. 6-4, 312-pound sophomore Boston Stiverson will get a long look at the left guard job after serving as a spot starter. He has the size and toughness to be a key anchor up front for the next three years – he has the potential to be a dominant run blocker.
Watch Out For … Chance Allen. The 6-5, 295-pound recruit has the talent and upside to grow into an all-star tackle in the next few seasons. The Texas native moves extremely well and could sneak into the rotation sooner than later.
Strength: Experience. All five of the main starters are back up front, and that doesn't even include Stiverson, a likely full-time starter at one of the guard spots. This was a rock of a group that turned into a force as last year went on, and now everyone is back.
Weakness: Developed depth. The Wildcat line was able to stay relatively healthy throughout last season, and while the Next Man Up mentality works better on this line than it does just about anywhere else, there will be a massive drop off from the ones to the twos.
Outlook: It's not an overstatement to suggest that the emergence of the line was the biggest reason the Wildcats cranked out their special season. As good as the other areas were, the consistency and production from the front five made all the difference, and now everyone is back. The pass protection turned into one of the most pleasant surprises, and it should be a major positive again.
Unit Rating: 8.5
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Kansas State Offense
2013 Kansas State Defense |
Kansas State Depth Chart