Manhattan, KS– The 2012 K-State football season brought a heisman trophy finalist, and a second Big 12 conference title. With many starters are role players now graduated, Head Coach Bill Snyder will have one of his bigger rebuilding jobs. Saturday provided K-State fans first glimpse at the 2013 football team.
1.) Sams or Waters? The main question going into the spring game was who will be K-States new starting quarterback? That question remains unanswered, as expected. So. Daniel Sams showed his wheels, in addition to showing his improved passing ability. While JUCO transfer, Jake Waters displayed his hyped up passing ability, and showed speed on the ground. Both quarterbacks combined to complete 32 of 46 passes, throwing for 640 yards and seven touchdowns. Neither quarterback did much to separate himself from the other. But both made a strong case to be Collin Klein’s successor.
2.) Miller Making Strides- The same day Chris Harper was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the NFL draft, Senior Torell Miller put on a dazzling performance in the K-State spring game. Bill Snyders Cats return two of their top three players from a year ago, but neither Tramaine Thompson or Tyler Lockett can provide a true physical presence down the field. 6-2, 216 pound Miller can provide the physical downfield presence that Harper has provided for the past two years. Miller caught five passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
3.) Gronk Nation- Glenn Gronkowski also made an appearance. Replacing sixth round draft pick Braden Wilson as the starting fullback, the 6-3 Gronk looked like a very valid replacement to the four year starter Wilson. In addition to showcasing his blocking ability, Gronk caught a TD pass and converted a two point conversion.
4.) Andre McDonald Sighting- After a breakout sophomore season in the 2011 Cotton Bowl season, disciplinary reasons caused McDonalds playing time to decrease a year ago. Some had questioned whether or not he was still on the team. McDonald displayed the physicality that made him known among K-State faithful in the 2011 season. McDonald had an efficient eight catches for 80 yards, in addition to barreling over a handful of white team defenders.
5.) Defense Beginning to Take Form- K-State graduates nine of their eleven defensive started from the 2012 Big 12 Champion team. Tre Walker Ty Zimmerman are the only returning starters. Although not much can be taken away from the spring as far as defense is concerned, K-State fans did get to see a glimpse of what the 2013 defense will look like. The defense looked fairly strong against the run, but struggled at defending the pass, Snyder mentioned in the post game press conference.
In the end, it was a normal K-State spring game. The offense dazzled, the defense dominated, and many questions remain unanswered. There is still a long way to go, and more players to see before the 2013 football season gets underway. Only a certain amount can be learned from the intrasquad scrimmage. One this is for certain, the race to be K-States next quarterback is anything but decided.