Big 12: Shaun Simon

Kansas State announced plans for expansion on Bill Snyder Family Stadium in January, but after an anonymous $5 million pledge, the Wildcats will break ground on the expansion in a ceremony prior to the spring game on April 28.

"We would not be making this step forward if we did not feel like there was enough momentum from our fundraising team and the donors who have expressed interest in this project in moving forward," Kansas State athletic director John Currie told reporters.

K-State has secured $40 million in contributions toward the $75 million stadium renovation, which will tear down the existing press box and build a new limestone structure on the stadium that officials want to serve as a gateway to the campus.

The additions will be built during the 2012 season, but the school hopes the West Stadium Center will be open for the 2013 season.

"It's an aggressive schedule, but it's also a realistic schedule," Currie told reporters. "We look (the contractors) in the eye every day like we did yesterday and say, ‘We've got three football games to start that season at home, so we've got to be ready.'"

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:
The new west-side structure will feature fan amenities, a ticket office, a dining hall for athletes and 40 luxury suites, all of which have been pre-sold.

K-State has the capacity to sell more suites, but Currie said 40 was the ideal balance of supply and demand.

"We wanted to be real careful to understand our market and not have too many of anything," Currie said. "The gifts that were associated with those suites were very significant, as much as half a million dollars for a particular suite."

This should be a good move for K-State. There's lots of money in the new Big 12, and the Wildcats have one of the best home atmospheres in the league. They also have one of the press boxes most in need of an upgrade, which they'll get.

Kansas State also released its spring roster, which featured several notable omissions.

Brodrick Smith, a former starter who would have been a senior in 2012, was the most notable omission. Defensive end Brandon Harold was also not on the roster after leaving the team in August. Shaun Simon was starting on the offensive line in fall camp before suffering an injury in the season opener, and he wasn't on the roster. Also, 2011 defensive end signee Ian Seau, the nephew of NFL great Junior Seau, was not on the roster.

Big 12 lunchtime links

July, 15, 2010
Greetings from Big Ten country. I'm sure Sooners fans are glad to see me. Nebraska people, tell them I'm not that bad.

Nebraska, Oklahoma get jump on recruiting

February, 9, 2010
Veteran talent analyst JC Shurburtt of ESPN Recruiting has listed the top 11 programs with the fastest start on their 2011 recruiting classes. Both Nebraska and Oklahoma made the unranked list.

Nebraska has already received commitments from three players, including two selections on the ESPNU 150 watch list. Both of Oklahoma's early commitments made the ESPNU 150 watch list.

The Cornhuskers already have received verbal commitments from two of the nation's top linemen, continuing a tradition that is a bedrock of the Nebraska program. Tyler Moore, a 6-foot-6, 270-pounder from Countryside High School in Clearwater, Fla., is joined by Ryne Reeves, a 6-foot-3, 287-pound center from Crete, Neb. Along with those two on the ESPNU 150 watch list with quarterback Jamal Turner of Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas.

And the Sooners have garnered two on the 150 list, including wide receiver Kameel Jackson who is Turner's major receiving target at Sam Houston High School. He is joined by quarterback Kendal Thompson of Southmoore High School in Moore, Okla.

Here's a quick look at what other schools in the conference have gotten an early start (Note: * indicates an ESPNU 150 watch list player):

  • Baylor: None.
  • Colorado: C Shaun Simon (Hutchinson Community College)
  • Iowa State: None.
  • Kansas: None.
  • Kansas State: OT Cody Whitehair (Abilene, Kan.), DT Olukayode Akinmoladun (Independence Community College), WR Marcus Kennard (Butler County Community College), QB Angelo Pease (Hutchinson Community College), DE Meshak Williams (Hutchinson, Kan.)
  • Missouri: *QB Corbin Berkstresser (Lee Summit, Mo.); WR Wesley Leftwich (Hickman, Mo.); ATH Anthony Pierson (Gateway, Mo.), DT Sheldon Richardson (College of the Sequoias).
  • Nebraska: *OT Tyler Moore (Clearwater, Fla.), *C Ryne Reeves (Crete, Neb.), QB Jamal Turner (Arlington, Texas).
  • Oklahoma: *WR Kameel Jackson (Arlington, Texas), *QB Kendal Thompson (Moore, Okla.)
  • Oklahoma State: *QB J.W. Walsh (Denton, Texas), T Travis Cross (Plano, Texas), S Isaac Maselera (Glenpool, Okla.)
  • Texas: None.
  • Texas A&M: *T Joseph Creek (Seguin, Texas).
  • Texas Tech: *WR Javares McRoy (Lakeland, Fla.)



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