Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Fresh faces: Kansas State Wildcats
By David Ubben
Today we continue our look across the league at few players from each team who had low profiles last year, but you'd better get to know before 2012. They just might be household names by season's end.
More fresh faces:
Next up: Kansas State.
B.J. Finney, C: Finney was quietly one of the league's best linemen a year ago, but was overshadowed by the older linemen like Clyde Aufner and Zach Hanson on one of the league's best O-lines. Now, it's his turn, and he's only a sophomore, making his efforts last year -- as a freshman -- even more impressive. The 6-foot-4, 303-pounder is a former walk-on, but he'll compete with West Virginia's Joe Madsen and Baylor's Ivory Wade to be considered the Big 12's best center, now that Oklahoma's Ben Habern has retired from the game.
Tyler Lockett, WR/KR: Anyone who watched K-State faithfully last year knows Lockett, but the league at-large is still ignorant to the Tulsa speedster. Think the Wildcats don't have a home-run threat on their offense? Think again. It's Lockett. He was sorely missed last year after suffering a lacerated spleen late in the season, but the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder might finish the season as the league's best return man, too. He's quick and fast, and comes from a promising pedigree. His father, Kevin Lockett, is K-State's all-time leading receiver after starring for Snyder in the mid-90s. His uncle, Aaron, is fourth all-time on the receiving list and second all-time in punt return yardage.
Travis Tannahill, TE: Kansas State locks up practice tighter than anyone in the Big 12, but word got around that Tannahill had a big offseason and could precede a huge senior season. He's a skilled blocker, which is necessary in this offense, but he just might be the league's best tight end overall. He only caught 10 balls last season, but targets were scarce in the run-based offense. The 6-foot-3, 253-pound Kansas native could be a much bigger part of the offense this year.