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Wednesday, August 19, 2009
JC transfer impresses Snyder

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has been working heralded junior college transfer Daniel Thomas at running back during most of practice.

Thomas, a transfer from Northwest Mississippi Junior College, was considered as a potential contender for the Wildcats at quarterback. But Snyder has played him at running back with the emergence of Carson Coffman and Grant Gregory at quarterback.

"He is really a fun guy to watch," Snyder said of Thomas. "I think he is going to be a good player. As we all know, he is kind of multi-faceted and he can do a number of things, which makes him more than just a single, isolated threat as just a running back."

Thomas is in the mix along with Keithen Valentine, who leads the group and is the most experienced player at the position. Valentine rushed for 129 yards in eight games last season.

Other potential contenders include redshirt freshman Jarell Childs and freshman John Hubert, who both have showed flashes of potential in the Wildcats' early work as they prepare for their Sept. 5 opener against Massachusetts.

"When you talk about depth, you talk about quality depth, and we've got some numbers at running back," Snyder said.

But Thomas, a 6-foot-2, 227-pounder who rushed for 618 yards and six touchdowns and passed for 450 more yards and two TDs, has been one of the more intriguing parts of the Wildcats' offensive work during fall camp.

"He can be utilized in the running game, the passing game, and can become a blocker as well," Snyder said. "But all running backs normally have to be that way, and we will utilize Daniel to do the things he can do best."

Thomas' development and the depth at the position has enabled Snyder to switch his two leading rushers from 2008 to other positions.

Lamark Brown, who led the team with 412 rushing yards, has moved to wide receiver. Logan Dold, who added 333 rushing yards, has moved to safety.