Preview 2009 - Offense
2009 CFN Kansas State Preview |
2009 Kansas State Offense
2009 Kansas State
2009 Kansas State
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What you need to know:
It might not be the old days of Michael Bishop or
Darren Sproles and Ell Roberson, but Kansas State will be
looking to throw less and run more. The pieces might not be
there to do exactly what Bill Snyder would like, but the old
coaching staff left a ton of very fast receivers, quick running
backs, and a not-that-bad line. The problem is the departure of
Josh Freeman, who left early to make millions in the NFL. The
offense relied on his talents a bit too much, and now it'll be
up to Carson Coffman to hold down the starting quarterback job
and be a steadying force. There are big bombers waiting in the
wings, and JUCO transfer Daniel Thomas to run like Snyder would
like, but Coffman will get the early call ... maybe. The depth
chart is written in pencil with lots of tinkering to be done on
the line and with the starting spots in the backfield up for
Passing: Carson Coffman
25-41, 282 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Lamark Brown (WR now)
118 carries, 412 yds, 5 TD
Receiving: Brandon Banks
67 catches, 1,049 yds, 9 TD
Star of the offense:
Senior WR Brandon Banks
Player who has to step up and become a star: Junior QB
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OT Clyde Aufner
Best pro prospect: Banks (as a kick returner)
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Banks, 2) WR/RB Lamark
Brown, 3) OT Nick Stringer
Strength of the offense: Speed, Pass Protection
Weakness of the offense:
Running Back, No Josh
Is Carson Coffman
ready for the job? After serving as the understudy
behind Josh Freeman, the 6-3, 212-pound junior has the
experience to be the leading man competing 25-of-41 passes for
282 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. The brother of
former Missouri star tight end, Chase, he's a big, accurate
passer with a nice arm and decent mobility, running for 60 yards
and a score. However, his experience and smarts aren't quite
enough; he'll have to battle and battle hard this fall to keep
Projected Top Reserves: At 6-5 and 227 pounds,
redshirt freshman Collin Klein has the size and
the arm to bomb away. He's a nice runner for his size, and not
just when a play breaks down. He has the raw skills with the
athleticism and the arm to develop into a possible leader, but
he's at least a year away from being ready.
big KSU quarterback, 6-5, 239-pound redshirt freshman
Joseph Kassanavoid has the best arm of the bunch. A
nice prospect who had a nose for the goal line in high school,
he's a tough runner who has to keep improving as a passer. He
needs polish and might end up fighting just to be the third
quarterback in the pecking order.
Almost certain to be
the No. 2 man in the mix, if he doesn't win the starting job, is
Daniel Thomas, a JUCO transfer who signed with
Kansas State last year and ended up running for 562 yards and
six scores and throwing for 450 yards and two scores for NW
Mississippi JC. The 6-2, 227 pounder from Florida is the team's
best dual-threat option by far, but he has to work on his
passing accuracy. He could end up as a running back, which is
what the former coaching staff was thinking about doing with
Watch Out For ... Thomas. Bill
Snyder likes quarterbacks who can move, and while the other
options aren't statues, Thomas fits the mold a bit better.
Strength: Big arms. Thomas isn't small at 6-2 and
227 pounds, and he's the smallest one of the bunch. Coffman,
Klein, and Kassanavoid are all big-armed passers with size and
just enough athleticism to get by.
Weakness: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Josh Freeman
would've been a major star as a veteran leader who could've made
the struggling rebuilding team a player, but he's off making
millions at the next level while Snyder has unproven prospects
to work with.
Outlook: It would've been nice if Freeman had
stuck around, and now the coaching staff has a few big choices
to make. Is this really a rebuilding year, will the offense live
with the mistakes of a redshirt freshman to develop for the next
few years, or will it be the easy, safe choice of Carson
Coffman? The issue might not be settled until just before the
season starts, and even then it might be up for debate.
Senior walk-on Keithen
Valentine was a key back early on last year, running
for 118 yards and two scores in the first three games, and then
he barely saw the light of day seeing three carries for 11 yards
and a score in the shootout win over Texas A&M. That was it. Now
the former JUCO transfer is being given a second life and he
plans on taking advantage of it. At 5-8 and 193 pounds, he's a
small, lightning-quick back who has to produce early on or he'll
be relegated to the bench in a hurry.
Is Braden Wilson ready to be a blaster of a
blocker for the next four years? The 6-4, 245-pound freshman is
strong enough and more athletic than his age might suggest, and
he could end up being used in a variety of ways. He'll see time
at tight end and could end up being a ball-carrier for a stretch
after running for 1,807 yards and 29 touchdowns for two Kansas
high school state championship teams.
Projected Top Reserves: When the running game
needs a bit more power, it'll give Logan Dold a
shot after he plowed ahead for 333 yards and three scores.
The6-0, 207-pound sophomore blasted away for 115 yards against
Texas A&M and could be used far more, even though he doesn't
exactly fit what the coaching staff would like out of the ground
6-1, 220-pound redshirt freshman Jarell Childs
impressed enough this spring to be the No. 2 back going into the
fall. A tough runner who'll likely be used mostly around the
goal line and in short yardage situations, he's extremely strong
and can be used as a fullback if he's not carrying the mail.
Needing to be a home run hitter is
Dee Bell, a lightning fast sophomore who isn't all that
big, checking in at just 5-8 and 177 pounds, but he runs a 10.5
in the 100. He only got one carry which went for -3 yards, and
he caught a pass for six yards, but he'll get far more work this
year. He has the toughness to handle the load if needed.
Watch Out For ... the newcomers. The recruits were
supposed to play a big role in last year's running game, and
they didn't. This year, Timothy Flanders could
find a spot somewhere right away if he doesn't take over a role
as a runner after tearing off 2,153 yards and 34 touchdowns as a
high school senior. Tramaine Thompson is
another smallish speedster who can be a receiver as well as a
runner, and John Hubert could turn out to be
the main man early on if he gets a chance.
Strength: Speed. It's Kansas State, so there are
always going to be smallish speed backs who can cut on a dime
Give these guys a crease and they could be gone.
Weakness: Proven production. The best back on the
team, 2008 leading rusher Lamark Brown, is off playing receiver,
and the second-leading rusher, Josh Freeman, is off living in
Tampa. Dold ran for 333 yards last year and Valentine ran for
129. The team needs a back to count on.
Outlook: There are plenty of speedy backs to go
around and there are several options to form an interesting
rotation. It's a deep group, even if there isn't much in the way
of proven production, and there could be far more work with less
of a reliance on Josh Freeman and the passing game. Now there
needs to be a star who can emerge from the fray; the job is wide
open for the taking.
The concern over who was going
to take over for Jordy Nelson was answered by senior
Brandon Banks, one of the team's fastest players and a
game-breaker the offense desperately needs. Extremely athletic,
he was the two-time North Carolina high school state champion in
the 200 and the long jump and cranked out a 10.42 in the 100.
While he wasn't considered the team's best new receiver prospect
after coming over from Bakersfield C.C., he turned out to be a
major-league producer making 67 catches for 1,0409 yards with
nine touchdowns, averaging 15.7 yards per catch. He also turned
into a whale of a kickoff returner averaging 27.7 yards per try.
While he's only 5-7 and 170 pounds, he makes up for it with his
next-level wheels and quickness. He can be used as a possession
receiver or as a home-run threat. He can do it all, and now
he'll do more running as well.
It was senior
Attrail Snipes, not Brandon Banks, who was supposed to
be the breakout star from the JUCO ranks. He came in from
Bakersfield C.C., along with Banks, with 6-1, 180-pound size,
plenty of proven production, and next level speed. There's speed
on Kansas State, and then there's Snipes, who won the 2006
Washington state high school 100, 200, and 400 meter spring
titles. While he's not as fast as Banks, he's a deep threat
who'll start to be used more after catching just one pass for 37
yards and spending most of his time on special teams.
Senior Jeron Mastrud has been a nice all-around tight end
with great route running ability to go along with his blocking
skills. He was second on the team with 38 catches for 435 yards
and two touchdowns, and while he's not necessarily a field
stretcher, he can make big plays. He's also a reliable blocker
who's a major strength for the running attack. At 6-6 and 253
pounds he has good size and next-level potential.
Projected Top Reserves: Junior Lamark
Brown turned into the team's main rushing weapon
leading the way with 412 yards and five touchdowns. However, he
only averaged 3.5 yards per carry and got most of his yards,
137, against UL Lafayette. He was also a nice receiver,
finishing with 24 grabs for 178 yards and a score. Now he'll
spend all his time in the receiving corps combining with Attrail
Snipes for one spot. Extremely fast, and with 6-3, 225-pound
size, he could be a matchup nightmare.
Considered the jewel of a huge
recruiting class, the 6-0, 190-pound Aubrey Quarles
was a big-time JUCO transfer who had a nice first year,
but not a special one, catching 34 passes for 407 yards and a
score. He was held out of some of the spring practices to heal
up, but when he's ready he'll be a major factor in three-wide
sets. He's also a top kick returner.
Coming in to backup Jeron Mastrud, and be next year's starting
tight end, is Travis Tannahill, a nice recruit
who got to school early and will be a part of the passing
attack. Extremely athletic, the 6-4, 240-pound true freshman was
a Kansas all-state punter and track star.
Watch Out For ... Brown. He was originally supposed
to be a wide receiver before the old coaching staff moved him to
running back, and now he should be a devastating No. 2 target on
the other side of Banks.
Strength: Speed. Finding deep wheels isn't a
problem. Banks, Snipes, Brown, and Quarles would form a big-time
4x100 relay team. The passing game averaged a solid 12.9 yards
Weakness: Josh Freeman. The receiving corps was
terrific when it had a first round talent bombing away, and
while Carson Coffman isn't bad, he's not nearly the same player.
the receivers will have to make more big things happen on their
The new coaching staff walked into a
stocked cupboard with the old regime loading up on top-shelf
JUCO athletes. There's speed, depth, a good No. 1 target in
Brandon Banks, and a nice, reliable tight end in Jeron Mastrud.
The numbers might not be quite as good as they were last year,
but the receiving corps should still be strong.
Senior Nick Stringer
went from being a nice all-around blocker with tight end athleticism to
a bulked up dominator who earned all-star honors. The 6-6, 271-pounder
will get the call at left tackle, where he started the last two games of
the year after farting the first ten on the right side. One of the team
leaders and a leader on the line, he's a rock in pass protection.
Returning to the left side, where he was a spot starter last season,
will be Brock Unruh, a 6-6, 288-pound senior who has
moved around where needed and will now be counted on to be one of the
team's most reliable run blockers. While he's not big, he's experienced
and he doesn't make a ton of big mistakes and can be used at tackle.
6-4, 287-pound junior Wade Weibert will take over
at center for Jordan Bedore after redshirting. The former JUCO transfer
was a star on the 2007 national champion Butler County team, and now
he's ready to take on a big role in the middle of the line. Athletic for
his size, he'll be good on the move.
Freeze turned into a key starter late in the year at left guard
and he should be a fixture for the next three years. The 6-5,
287-pounder is more like a tackle playing guard with excellent
athleticism and tremendous upside. He'll play right guard, but he could
move around depending on the combination.
Looking to solidify the
right tackle spot will be Clyde Aufner, a 6-7,
288-pound sophomore who's expected to be one of the team's better pass
blockers once he gets his feet wet. With long arms and a big frame, he
has no problems keeping pass rushers away. While he only got in three
games of work, he's promising blocker who should grow into a good one.
Projected Top Reserves:
Senior Eric Benoit was a good JUCO
transfer who started in three games at right guard in the middle of the
season. The 6-4, 286-pounder isn't the best athlete, but he's a bruiser
who can step in at either guard position and be fine. He'll start out
the year behind Colten Freeze on the right side, but he'll quickly come
off the bench.
Junior Trevor Viers,
a former defensive end, bulked up over the last few years getting
to 284 pounds on his 6-5 frame, and now he should be more of a factor as
a backup center and, if needed, at guard. He stepped in late in 2007 and
was a key starter on the inside, and while he was fine, he's not the
prospect that Wade Weibert is.
6-3, 287-pound junior Zach Kendall started three games
at center and two games at guard, and now will be a key backup all
across the inside. He's a talented all-around blocker who could end up
starting depending on where Wade Weibert ends up playing, and at the
very least he'll see plenty of action as a reserve.
Watch Out For ... a good battle for the center job.
Weibert, Kendall and Viers are all good enough to be seeing starting
time somewhere up front, but there's a logjam for inside jobs. The issue
isn't going to be settled until the fall.
Strength: A plus for the last few years,
considering how much the Wildcats threw when Josh Freeman was in charge,
the line is athletic and does a good job of keeping the passer clean.
That should be the face again with Stringer and Aufner two good outside
Weakness: Backup tackle. The inside is set with
several options to move around and play with, but the team will have to
rely on 6-8, 320-pound Zach Hanson is Aufner struggles
on the right side, of untested sophomore Kaleb Drinkgern
on the other.
Outlook: The line had all the pieces in place last
year and it did a good job. There was plenty of tinkering and the
starting combination was almost never the same two games in a row, but
the pass protection was rock-solid. Now the line has to show it can hit
someone after paving the way for a mere 3.9 yards per carry. There might
not be any sure-thing all-stars, outside of Nick Stringer, but this will
be a good line that will hold its own.