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2010 Kansas State Preview – Offense
Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas
Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 31, 2010


CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - Kansas State Wildcat Offense



Kansas State Wildcats

Preview 2010 - Offense

- 2010 Kansas State Preview | 2010 Kansas State Offense
- 2010 Kansas State Defense | 2010 Kansas State Depth Chart
- Kansas State Previews  2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

What You Need To Know: Daniel Thomas, Daniel Thomas, Daniel Thomas. There’s no secret to what the Kansas State offense is going to do with an NFL-caliber back in Thomas with the potential to put up a huge year behind a huge veteran offensive line that returns four starters. The receiving corps is starting from scratch with no one who did anything last year coming back, but the cupboard is hardly bare with Brodrick Smith transferring from Minnesota, Aubrey Quarles sitting down last year, and Chris Harper coming in after starting his career at Oregon. The key will be at quarterback where Carson Coffman struggled when he got his chance early last year, but he has to shine to try to improve the Big 12’s worst passing game.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Carson Coffman
71-117, 860 yds, 2 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Daniel Thomas
247 carries, 1,265 yds, 11 TD
Receiving: Daniel Thomas
25 catches, 257 yds

Star of the offense: Senior RB Daniel Thomas
Player who has to step up and be a star: Senior QB Carson Coffman
Unsung star on the rise: Junior OT Zach Hanson
Best pro prospect: Thomas
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Thomas, 2) WR Brodrick Smith, 3) C Wade Weibert
Strength of the offense: Running Game, Line
Weakness of the offense: Passing Game, Quarterback

Quarterbacks

Projected Starter: Getting the first look to take over for Grant Gregory will be Carson Coffman,a 6-3, 211-pound senior and the brother of former Missouri star tight end, Chase. After being used as the No. 2 behind Josh Freeman two years ago, Coffman started the first four games completing 61% of his throw for 860 yards and two scores with four interceptions, and he was replaced after struggling in an inexcusable loss to Louisiana-Lafayette and failing to get the offense going in a loss to UCLA. He’s a big, accurate short range passer with decent (but not great) running ability, but he’ll be in a fight for the job.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Collin Klein is a 6-5, 233-pound sophomore who saw a little bit of time completing a pass for 27 yards against Nebraska and catching two passes for 21 yards and a score against Texas A&M. A nice runner for his size, he has the raw skills and the arm to be a dangerous option, but he needs to show good decision-making ability to have a shot at the job if he can get and stay healthy. He suffered an undisclosed injury this offseason and it might be just enough to relegate him to backup status.

Junior Sammuel Lamur, brother of star safety, Emmanuel, is a 6-4, 221-pound JUCO transfer with a world of upside and tremendous athleticism for his size. He’s not a passer, completing just 43% of his throw for Joliet JC after hitting 40% of his passes two years ago, but he’s great on the move. If he doesn’t end up taking over the quarterback job he’ll be used somewhere on the field; he’s too athletic to not play a role.

Watch Out For … Coffman to take a stranglehold on the job. A huge performance in the spring game didn’t mean he’s ready for All-Big 12 honors, but it was enough to make the choice for the starting job a whole bunch easier.
Strength: Options. Coffman might not be special, but he’s a big passer with enough experience to count on. Lamur is a special athlete for the position who can come in and make KSU a pure running team, while Klein does a little of everything well.
Weakness: Passing efficiency. Grant Gregory only threw four touchdown passes with four interceptions after he took over, and the Wildcat quarterbacks combined to throw seven touchdown passes with eight interceptions.
Outlook: The KSU passing game was last in the Big 12, averaging just 169 yards per game, and it’s not likely to get a whole bunch better. Coffman doesn’t have to be amazing, but he has to keep the mistakes to a minimum and he has to keep the chains moving. Lamur and Klein are interesting prospects who could quickly step in if the offense isn’t moving.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Running Backs

Projected Starters: Senior Daniel Thomas went from being a top JUCO transfer into a possible first round draft pick. The 6-2, 228-pounder is getting a long look as one of the top next-level NFL prospects after running for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns averaging 5.12 yards per carry while also adding 25 catches for 257 yards. With size, speed, and workhorse ability, he’s also a passing threat after serving as a dual-threat option at NW Mississippi JC. The Wildcats were 4-1 when he ran for 100 yards or more last season, and he’ll be the focal point of the attack once again. The key will be able to produce when he’s the focus of the entire opposing defensive game plan. Of his 100-yard games, none came against a team that went to a bowl, two were against the FCSers (UMass and Tennessee Tech), and the other three were against Louisiana, Colorado, and Kansas.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Braden Wilson was the main man at fullback when the team utilized one. A blaster of a blocker for Thomas, the 6-3, 244 pounder got a few carries running for eight yards on just three attempts, and he caught four passes for 33 yards. Handling the rock isn’t his job, though. He’s there to open up holes and provide a physical presence for the ground game, but that could chance. He could potentially 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

While small, the 5-9, 205-pound senior William Powell is extremely quick and has the burst to be a solid No. 2 behind Daniel Thomas. The junior was excellent at Navarro College, but he didn’t get any carries last year and was only used as a special teamer. He’s not a lock to see a lot of work, but he’ll get time in blowouts if he doesn’t establish a role early on as a ten-touch-a-game reserve.

Freshman DeMarcus Robinson was the team’s top high school recruit after running for 1,720 yards as a star prospect. The 5-9, 192-pounder can cut on a dime and has a great burst to add more of big play potential among the backups. He’s the most talented backup on the roster and he should get his chance to show it right away.

Watch Out For … someone other than Thomas trying to get a few carries. Snyder and the KSU coaches aren’t afraid to keep feeding the star, and it’s going to be tough for anyone else to get the ball other than Thomas. Powell might get the first look, but redshirt freshmen Tim Flanders and John Hubert will try to audition for next year.
Strength: Thomas. He improved his game this offseason as he appears to be more patient and smarter at finding the right lane, and he’ll get his chances to be the workhorse. He’s an NFL talent who’ll be auditioning all season long.
Weakness: A proven No. 2. There’s nothing. While there are plenty of talented prospects waiting in the wings, Thomas is the only viable option with a recorded carry.
Outlook: The offense will try to get rushing production from the quarterbacks and there might be a few quirky plays from the receivers to get the ground game going, but it’ll be Thomas, Thomas, and Thomas. If he can hold up, he’ll get 300 carries and will be everything for the offense, but it would be nice if some of the talented backup prospects can get some work early on.
Unit Rating: 8

Receivers

Projected Starters: The receiving corps has to replace all the key parts, but sophomore Brodrick Smith is a dangerous prospect who should make a big splash after transferring from Minnesota. The former Gopher made five catches for 50 yards and two scores for his old team, and with 6-2, 206-pound size and excellent quickness, he could be the team’s No. 1 target right away.

Can senior Aubrey Quarles become good enough to play up to his talent? The 5-11, 202-pound senior was the crown jewel of the 2007 recruiting class with big-time credentials coming in from the JUCO ranks. He had a nice first year catching 34 passes for 407 yards and a score, but it wasn’t special and he ended up redshirting in 2009. If he can stay healthy, he has the skills to become special and also be used as a kick returner with excellent quickness and great deep speed.

Redshirt freshman Tremaine Thompson will try to replace Brandon Banks as the team’s small, quick speed receiver. The 5-7, 165-pounder will be used as a kick returner as well as a yard-after-the-catch target, and he can get a few carries, too. The coaching staff will invent ways to get the ball in his hands.

6-3, 254-pound Travis Tannehill was a nice recruit last year who got to school early and ended up making a little bit of an impact at tight end catching two passes for 37 yards. Extremely athletic, the sophomore was a Kansas high school all-state punter and track star, and now he’ll take over for Jeron Mastrud as a safety valve target.

Projected Top Reserves: If sophomore Chris Harper isn’t a starter, he’ll be a major player in four-wide sets and will be a top reserve. The 6-1, 234-pound Oregon transfer doesn’t look the part, but he’s a big-time athlete who ran, threw, and caught a touchdown pass for the Ducks. Originally a quarterback, he’s still figuring out how to be a regular receiver and he should become a key playmaker with a little bit of work.

Senior Sheldon Smith was supposed to make an impact as a key JUCO transfer but he only ended up making just three catches for 27 yards in his limited action. At 5-11 and 180 pounds he has decent size with the speed to become a dangerous deep threat if he can get a few chances. He was a starter at Cerritos College in California, but he has to push for time now working behind Aubrey Quarles.

An interesting prospect with size and intriguing athleticism, the 6-8, 282-pound Andre McDonald will get a long look at tight end. The redshirt freshman spent the last year getting stronger and filling out his frame, and he has the potential and the hands to be a matchup nightmare at times, especially around the goal line.

Watch Out For … Harper. Quarles and Smith will be the main men, but Harper has the talent to become a special player if he can crack the starting lineup. He’s the type of player who can be used in a variety of ways.
Strength: Upside. Quarles has all the tools and Smith is a big, strong speedster who can come up with big plays. Harper and Thompson will be dangerous when they get their chances.
Weakness: The offense. Kansas State was last in the Big 12 in passing for a reason. The quarterbacks aren’t going to bomb away with the bread being buttered with Daniel Thomas and the ground game, so it’ll be up to the receivers to stay focused and produce when they get their chances.
Outlook: A disappointment last year because the quarterback play was so shoddy, the receiving corps now has to start from scratch with no one of note returning. Quarles and Smith are dying to get back on the field after sitting out a year, and they’ll be trying to make big things happen every time they touch the ball. Throw in Harper and Thompson, and KSU has a better receiving corps than the stats will indicate.
Unit Rating: 6

Offensive Line

Projected Starters: The KSU line gets everyone back but starting left tackle, Nick Stringer. Looking to be the new anchor is junior Zach Hanson , a 6-8, 313-pound pass blocker who spent last year as a key backup with the athleticism of a tight end and just enough toughness to be strong as a run blocker. The former JUCO transfer has seen a little bit of time, but he’ll have to show right away that he can be consistent against the speedier pass rushers.

6-4, 304-pound senior Wade Weibert took over the starting center job in the second game last year after starting out the season at right guard. The former JUCO transfer was a star on the 2007 national champion Butler County team, and he was ready from the start of the year serving as a consistent all-around blocker on the inside. Athletic for his size, he does a good job of getting to the second level.

Returning to his starting spot at right tackle is junior Clyde Aufner , a 12-game starter who great into one of the team’s better pass blockers as he got more experience. At 6-5 and 300 pounds he has a long frame and is tough to get around, but he’s not quite quick enough to be a regular at left tackle. He’s still improving and should shine over the next two seasons.

Senior Zach Kendall started five games in 2008 and solidified himself at left guard last year starting every game. The 6-2, 312-pounder is versatile enough to play center, with a little starting experience in the middle, but he’s more of a natural at guard where he’s a punishing run blocker who doesn’t make a slew of mistakes.

6-4, 338-pound Kenneth Mayfield is a massive blocker who came on as a starter as last season went on. While he’s not going to move out of the phone booth, he’s a big hitter who does a great job of pushing people around at right guard. The senior started the final ten games of last year and he’ll be a key run blocker this season.

Projected Top Reserves: Senior Trevor Viers is a former defensive end who started the season opener at center but barely saw the light of day the rest of the way. At 6-4 and 297 pounds he has a tall athletic frame with the versatility to play anywhere up front. He’ll start out at right guard, but he could quickly move where needed.

6-4, 300-pound Colten Freeze got a start at right guard against Louisiana and now he’ll work mostly at right tackle. The junior moves extremely well and he might end up taking over at left tackle if Zach Hanson can’t get the job done. He’ll be counted on to be one of the team’s most versatile and steady backups.

Freshman Tomasi Mariner wasn’t a top prospect, but he was good enough to get a look at the No. 2 center job. At 6-4 and 305 pounds he has the size to see time right away, but he could use some time to get stronger and refine his technique. The goal is to get him ready to be the anchor in the middle next year when Wade Weibert is done.

Watch Out For … plenty of movement among the backups. The KSU linemen are surprisingly versatile, and while there are specialists and there are some who don’t have the tools to work certain spots, most of the No. 2s are able to move around to create new combinations.
Strength: Size and experience. Four starters are back and everyone is big and tough. Kendall is only 6-2, but everyone else on the front line goes at least 6-4 and well over 300 pounds.
Weakness: Pass protection. While many of the linemen move well for their size, this isn’t exactly a mobile group against the speedier, more talented lines. Having a stick-in-the-mud quarterback in Carson Coffman isn’t going to help the cause for a line that gave up 26 sacks.
Outlook: The line goes from a strength with emerging blockers to a strength with four solid returning starters. The front five improved by leaps and bounds for the ground game as the Cats averaged 4.3 yards per carry after averaging 3.9 the year before. Pass protection is an issue and there aren’t any all-stars, but this will be a good, sound group that will lead the way to a huge season for Daniel Thomas.
Unit Rating: 7

- 2010 Kansas State Preview | 2010 Kansas State Offense
- 2010 Kansas State Defense | 2010 Kansas State Depth Chart
- Kansas State Previews  2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006