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TO SNYDER, SATURDAY IS THE '15TH PRACTICE'

Also See: 'Cats Continue Series with Cal State Bakersfield

TO SNYDER, SATURDAY IS THE '15TH PRACTICE'

By Mark Janssen

To the K-State fan, Saturday is the Wildcats' Purple-White "Spring Game," but to coach Bill Snyder it's looked at as the Wildcats' 15th organized practice.
 
When the Purples line up across from the Whites Saturday at 1:10 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, the Wildcat coach says, "The purpose is to try not to have 14 practices and a showcase game, but to be able to have 15 practices.  I want there to be coaching and teaching, so our players can gain something out of it."
 

Part of that gain is playing in front of the K-State fan base, but Snyder also stresses, "By and large, it's being able to make the game as basic as it can be so we can have the opportunity to assess players in a competitive situation without being affected by schemes.  We just want to line up with 'A' against 'B', and with no tricks, see who's playing better."
 
Snyder said he would not decide on the format of the game until Thursday, but in more years than not it has been a scrimmage of first-teamers against second-teamers, with the option of flipping the score at intermission.
 
The quarterback rotation will start with Collin Klein, while Sammuel Lamur is No. 2 and Blinn College transfer Justin Tuggle No. 3.
 
But Snyder warned, "Just about the time one steps above the other, the other one takes a lightning bolt step forward and one does something to draw himself back to the pack."
 
In last Saturday's scrimmage, Snyder indicated that the collective quarterbacks threw for 600-plus yards, and while each QB was productive, each also had "... moments that kept them from having an outstanding scrimmage.  They proved to be human."
 
Of Klein, in particular, Snyder said, "He threw the ball with a nice touch, and put it in places to complete passes.  He just threw the ball better.  That's what I appreciated about that particular scrimmage."
 
Standing out offensively were reserve wide receivers Sheldon Smith (5-11, 180, Sr.) and Torell Miller (6-2, 209, Soph.), who was redshirted last year and is making the move from defensive back to wide receiver.

In Saturday's Purple-White scrimmage, Snyder said that the quarterbacks would make the play calls.
 
"It gives them a sense of pre-preparation, and it gives me a better understanding of what each quarterback feels comfortable doing ... what they like to do and what they do best.  A quarterback is not going to call something if he feels he's not very good at it."
 
On defense in last Saturday's scrimmage, Snyder said, "The linebackers continue to make a step forward and play faster."
 
The starting trio of linebackers includes Arthur Brown (6-1, 223, Jr.) backed by Blake Slaughter (5-10, 230, Jr.) and Tate Snyder (5-11, 207, Fr.); Emmanuel Lamur (6-4, 215, Sr.), backed by Jonathan Truman (5-11, 198, Fr.); and, Tre Walker (6-3, 205, Soph.), backed by Jerell Childs (6-1, 225, Jr.).  Alex Hrebec has been sidelined this spring due to injury.
 
"It's not all Arthur," Snyder said of the transfer from Miami. "Tre played a good portion of last year as a freshman, but didn't have a clue about what he was doing, and Emmanuel is just a very fine athlete.  We're bigger and we're faster.  Tre was the tallest last year, and now he's the shortest.  We're just physically better off to play the game."
 
On defense a year ago, teams averaged 5.9 yards per rushing attempt as the Wildcats allowed 229 ground yards per game.  Both the per-rush total and per-game total ranked 12th in the league.
 
In last Saturday's scrimmage Snyder said the defense allowed only 3.4 yards on rushing play.  "We did a pretty decent job in that respect.
 
"If they didn't (know they had to play much better), then we would have some real serious problems.  I'd be worried about whether they were eligible," said Snyder.  "They've been beaten up and they read the paper.  They understand that they stunk."
 
DISRUPTIVE SPRING: Without being specific, Snyder called the spring somewhat "disruptive," with some family issues involving players and coaches, plus a handful of injuries that have caused missed practices.
 
Two not being counted on due to injury on Saturday will be linebacker Alex Hrebec and safety Ty Zimmerman.
 
BOLD STATEMENT: On the possibility of long-snapper Corey Adams being selected this weekend in the 2011 NFL Draft, Snyder said, "He's as good as I've been around, and I haven't said that about anybody.  He's awfully good."
 
If not drafted, Snyder said he felt sure that Adams could hook on with a team as a free agent.


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