Saying that all of the quarterback candidates have had their "ups and downs ... good days and others not so good," coach Bill Snyder officially announced Monday that Carson Coffman would be Kansas State's starter on Saturday against UCLA.
"The important things are the consistent factor, not turning the ball over, managing the game, throwing the ball to the appropriate spots and decision making abilities," said Snyder.
The Wildcat coach said every defense imaginable has been thrown at Coffman this fall, and that "... he has managed the ballgame well."
Coffman started the first four games of the 2009 season, which included a 20-of-34 passing day for 193 yards, but with two interceptions in a 23-9 loss at UCLA. Coffman ended the year completing 61-percent of his passes with four interceptions and two touchdowns.
Coffman admitted to being disappointed in losing his job last year, and he said it was a year of putting too much pressure on himself to perform and not going into games relaxed.
"This year I just feel, with the game experience and the experience of getting pulled, I will be a better quarterback," said Coffman. "I just feel so much more relaxed and loose."
While it couldn't be said then, offensive guard Zach Kendall says today, "He would come into the huddle and you could sense an uncertainty. You could see in his eyes that he was nervous. All that is gone. Today, he's a quarterback with great confidence."
While giving the football to Grant Gregory for the remainder of the 2009 campaign, Snyder had nothing but praise for how Coffman handled the final eight weeks of last season.
"Nobody is happy when you lose a starting position, but he handled it quite well and continued to interact with Grant and the other quarterbacks," said Snyder. "He was a great assistance to him (Gregory) and just did what caring teammates do."
Snyder said Coffman's actions reminded him of how Jonathan Beasley handled losing his potential starting job to Michael Bishop in 1997.
"He's (Beasley) the one who helped Michael become as productive as he was early in his career," said Snyder. "Carson had an impact on how well Grant played last year."
TWO AT NO. 2 QB: Snyder indicated that junior Sammuel Lamur had caught Collin Klein in the battle for the backup quarterback position.
Klein, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound sophomore, entered fall camp with the edge from his playing experience last year, even though it was as a wide receiver. Lamur, a 6-foot-4, 210-pounder, was a redshirt last year when he earned K-State's Red Raider Award for the top contribution on the scout squad.
Snyder said he expected both backups would have a chance to see the field.
NEW TACKLES: Due to injuries to Zach Hanson and Clyde Aufner, the projected starting tackles will be Manase Foketi (6-5, 300, Jr.) and Ethan Douglas (6-6, 300, So.).
TRUE FRESHMEN IN ACTION: Only two true freshmen are expected to play this season in linebacker Tre Walker and defensive back Ty Zimmerman.
Walker, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound product of Olathe North High School, is "... a good sandlot player, who practices hard on every single snap," said Snyder. "He has good quickness, makes people miss him and has a nose for the football."
Walker is playing behind Alex Hrebec at the "Mike" linebacker.
Zimmerman, a Junction City product, joined the Wildcats as a quarterback in the spring but was quickly shifted to safety. He is listed as the backup to Tysyn Hartman at one of the safety positions.
K-STATE'S DEPTH CHART FOR UCLA
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