Kansas State spring wrap

May, 14, 2009
5/14/09
9:35
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Kansas State Wildcats
2008 overall record: 5-7

2008 conference record: 2-6

Returning starters

Offense: 7, defense: 8, kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

WR-KR Brandon Banks, OL Nick Stringer, RB Keithen Valentine, DE Brandon Harold, CB Joshua Moore

Key losses

QB Josh Freeman, C Jordan Bedore, G Gerard Spexarth, DE Ian Campbell, K Brooks Rossman

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Lamark Brown* (412 yards)
Passing: Josh Freeman (2,945 yards)
Receiving: Brandon Banks* (1,049 yards)
Tackles: Joshua Moore* (76)
Sacks: Ian Campbell (4 1/2)
Interceptions: Joshua Moore* (3)

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Massachusetts
Sept. 12 at Louisiana-Lafayette
Sept. 19 at UCLA
Sept. 26 Tennessee Tech
Oct. 3 Iowa State (at Kansas City)
Oct. 10 at Texas Tech
Oct. 17 Texas A&M
Oct. 24 Colorado
Oct. 31 at Oklahoma
Nov. 7 Kansas
Nov. 14 Missouri
Nov. 21 at Nebraska

Spring answers

1. Carson Coffman: KSU's quarterback position was supposed to be tight during spring camp, but Coffman appeared to have pulled ahead after a strong finish, punctuated by a 334-yard, three-TD effort in the spring game. That late spurt has given him the edge heading into the summer, although he still must beat out South Florida transfer Grant Gregory and heralded junior-college transfer Daniel Thomas to win the starting job in August.

2. Brandon Harold: After playing some at defensive tackle last season, a bigger, stronger Harold thrived after moving back to defensive end. He will be counted on to become the Wildcats' top pass-rusher and he looked like it in the spring game with three sacks.

3. Backfield depth: Jarell Childs and Keithen Valentine earned the nickname of "Thunder and Lightning" because of their complementary production throughout the spring. Their development was an early source of satisfaction to coach Bill Snyder, who felt comfortable enough at the position to move Logan Dold to defensive back late in the spring.

Fall questions

1. Quarterback: Despite Coffman's late charge, his production should be tempered considering he was performing against Kansas State's defense. How will his growth translate once he starts playing opposing defenses?

2. Defensive improvement: New coordinator Vic Koenning has the Wildcats playing a 4-2-5 defense as its base. It's a big change, but Koenning hopes his current personnel will be better suited for his strategy than the defense last season. The Wildcats ranked among the bottom 10 teams nationally in rush defense (112th), total defense (117th) and scoring defense (tied for 110th). If Snyder has any hopes of making a big turnaround this season, they will need some quick across-the-board defensive improvement.

3. Snyder's fire for the job: For all of his legendary success, the Wildcats struggled during latter stages of his coaching career before he left. The program has fallen since then, making his rebuilding job that much more difficult in a more competitive North Division.

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