Thursday, April 7, 2011
Spring superlatives: Kansas State
By ESPN.com staff
Today: The fourth in our series looking at the strongest and weakest position for each team in the Big 12: The Kansas State Wildcats.
Strongest position: Secondary
Key returnees: David Garrett, Tysyn Hartman, Ty Zimmerman, Emmanuel Lamur
Key losses: Terrance Sweeney, Troy Butler, Stephen Harrison
Analysis: This group helped Kansas State rank fifth in the Big 12 in pass defense. It easily has the most proven playmakers of any spot on the field for a team that needs a new running back, a new quarterback, replaces three offensive linemen and a pair of defensive linemen.
Garrett led the team in tackles and made 15 tackles for loss, adding nine broken up passes and an interception. Hartman will be one of the team's leaders again as a senior, and finished second on the team with 86 tackles, picking off a pair of passes.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman was one of the league's best freshmen in 2010, picking off three passes on the year, including two against Texas and making 74 tackles.
Kansas State will have a lot of new faces in a lot of places next year, but the secondary should be even better next year.
Weakest position: Quarterback
Key returnees: Collin Klein, Sammuel Lamur
Key losses: Carson Coffman
Analysis: Quarterback has been a problem for Kansas State, but the past two seasons, Daniel Thomas' performance in the running game has helped the team rack up 12 wins. Thomas is gone now, though, and the Wildcats offense has big questions at the skill positions. In the Big 12, that matters most at quarterback.
Lamur has almost no real experience, and Klein was a valuable runner last year, but has to show progress as a passer. Neither's ceiling is very high, and the Wildcats fans are hoping Boston College transfer Justin Tuggle can provide some pop to the position. Like Klein and Lamur, he fits the dual-threat mold that has been most successful under Bill Snyder, but he has to win the competition first.
More spring superlatives: