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December 2012 Archives

Fiesta Sunday: Bowl Day 3


View Sunday's photo gallery | Watch video recap from Sunday

By Mark Janssen

PHOENIX, Ariz. - For the first time in a long, long time, a K-State press conference was thrown and Collin Klein was not the man in the spotlight.

At Sunday morning's gathering of the media it was Chris Harper that gathered the most microphones and poised pens as the Wildcat wide receiver was asked and re-asked to reflect on his days as an Oregon Duck in 2008.

"I didn't remember any of the names, but some of the faces were familiar," said Harper of the Oregon media types. "I think some of them wanted to stir up some bad blood, but I have no hard feelings about Oregon. I had already committed to K-State, but Oregon was a place where my parents wanted me to go, so that's where I went. But I liked (Chip) coach Kelly and I don't regret my one year there one bit."

A PrepStar All-American out of Wichita Northwest High School as a quarterback, Harper was a hit with the Ducks becoming the first player in eight years to run, pass and catch a touchdown in the same season.

"It only came down to being around family and going where I wanted to go in the first place," said Harper.

Of going against some old friends and his former school, coach Bill Snyder said, "Chris is Chris. I don't think he will be overwhelmed."

Fiesta Saturday: Bowl Day 2


View Saturday's photo gallery | Watch video recap from Saturday

By Mark Janssen

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Kansas State defensive coordinator Tom Hayes said, "Without question we've missed Ty. We've missed his abilities, but also his leadership on the field." 

The good news is that Ty Zimmerman is expected to be "nearly" at 100 percent for the Jan. 3, Fiesta Bowl game against the Oregon Ducks. It was in the 23-10 victory over TCU on Nov. 10 that Zimmerman suffered a significant injury to his leg or foot. 

"It was something like that," grinned the Wildcat safety staying true to coach Bill Snyder's rule of not talking about injuries. What followed was a 52-24 loss to Baylor, followed by a 42-24 victory over Texas for the Big 12 Championship. 

"It's been very frustrating having to watch from the sidelines," said Zimmerman, who recorded 45 tackles this season with two fumble recoveries, and a Big 12-high of five interceptions, which included picks in four consecutive games ... a first for a Wildcat since 1989. "As a player you never want to sit on the sidelines and just watch. You can say only so much that can help your team." 

Zimmerman, who had started 35 straight games prior to the injury, said he was never given a timetable for his return, but instead told that the rehabilitation process would be monitored on a weekly basis.

Fiesta Friday: Bowl Day 1


View Friday's photo gallery | Watch video recap from Friday 

By Mark Janssen

PHOENIX, Ariz. - All have arrived in sunny, but coolish Phoenix as the Wildcat football team touched down in time for a two-hour practice on Friday at Scottsdale Community College, while the rest of the travel party arrived around 4:45.

The rigors of bowl-week begin Saturday with a 7 a.m. wakeup call for those attending the FCA breakfast, which will be followed by a press conference at 9:30.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 16

Good morning, K-State Nation!
It's been a wild couple of weeks since I last wrote to you! I recently attended my sixth banquet/award ceremony in the last 11 days, (not counting the K-State volleyball banquet, which I hated to miss and sort of attended in the form of a videotaped address) but I never get tired of seeing K-Staters recognized on the big stage.

The awards odyssey all began a week ago when we traveled to New York to see Mark Simoneau honored at the National Football Foundation dinner for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame before returning to MHK for 24 hours, when our family watched Collin Klein on TV at the Home Depot CFB Awards show in Orlando, Fla.

Friday saw an early morning flight on American Eagle out of MHK connecting to Baltimore for the very special Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award ceremony, where Collin gave a tremendous acceptance speech. Attendees and speakers included Coach Snyder, Colts legends and Unitas' teammates Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, Len Moore and Tom Matte who joined John Unitas Jr. and other family members for the evening. Click to watch K-State videographer Preston Koerner's highlights. I even was able to keep up with Collin's father, Doug, on a four-mile jog through Baltimore's harbor area that afternoon.

Saturday we also were able to watch a Wildcat basketball victory over George Washington at a nearby restaurant on 42nd Street before the Heisman presentation in New York City. That was then followed by a transcontinental American Airlines flight to California for Sunday night's Lott IMPACT Trophy presentation, where Arthur Brown was honored as one of four finalists for that prestigious award before a live FOX television audience. Condelezza Rice gave an inspirational keynote address, and Arthur did a great job in his FOX interviews and comments. Watching the pride on the faces of his parents, Arthur Sr. and Lelonnie, as Arthur joined Notre Dame's Manti T'eo and Chase Thomas of Stanford on the stage made the long trip completely worthwhile.

After spending Monday in the office it was up and back to Chicago on Tuesday (again out of MHK on American Eagle) where President Schulz received the CASE Chief Executive Leadership award in front of a packed banquet hall including K-State Alumni CEO Amy Button Renz and luncheon keynote speaker Mike Eruzione. Both athletically and academically K-State is surging toward the goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025!