February 6, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
While winter's end may seem anything but near as a blanket of snow covers Manhattan, Kan., the buzz of the upcoming football season was heard throughout all of the Vanier Football Complex yesterday morning.
Wednesday was 2014 National Signing Day, and Bill Snyder released K-State football's 2014 recruiting class. A class made up of 28 student-athletes from 12 different states, each of these new Wildcats is ready to mark their fingerprints on the future of K-State football.
"I'm proud of all the coaches, and all the personnel in our staff. When it comes down to recruiting, there are a lot of people who get involved," said Snyder. "We have an amazing relationship with our faculty, they are really significant in our recruiting process... There's a lot of people, our towns people, this community. I believe in all those elements."
The class is made up of 18 high school players and nine community-college players while current Wildcat offensive lineman Will Ash has been awarded a scholarship and counted towards this class. While K-State head coach Bill Snyder said it may take some time for the high school players to make an impact, he expects a lot from his community-college student-athletes right away.
"I think every community college guy that we have, we have a firm and honest belief that they have a chance to come in and compete immediately to help this program," Snyder said. "We believe each one of them has the capacity to do that."
Among those transfers, defensive lineman Terrell Clinkscales, coming to Manhattan from Dodge City Community College, and linebacker D'Vonta Derricott, from Garden City Community College, have the ability to make an immediate impact.
Clinkscales started his collegiate career at Grand Rapids Community College where he helped GRCC finish with an 11-0 record and No. 3 national ranking before transferring to Dodge City Community College. At Dodge City, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman recorded 40 tackles with 7.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks and was rated the nation's fourth-best junior college defensive tackle by ESPN.
Derricott played two seasons at Garden City Community College where he was named a First Team All-Jayhawk Conference performer in 2013 after finishing with 67 tackles, including nine for loss, one sack, three interceptions and four pass breakups. He is ranked No. 3 nationally among junior college outside linebackers by ESPN.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the day was the signing of running back Dalvin Warmack, defensive back Kaleb Prewett and linebacker Elijah Lee, who will all graduate from Blue Springs (Mo.) High School this May.
"They have been a part of a very, very successful program," said Snyder. "They bring a confidence factor with them and they bring the experience of playing at, competing in, being a part of and being leaders in a very successful program."
It is the first time since 1999, when K-State football signed Josh Buhl, Bryan Hickman and Corey White, all from Mesquite (Texas) North High School, that the Wildcats signed a trio of players from the same high school in the same class.
Warmack, Prewett and Lee helped lead Blue Springs to back-to-back Missouri Class 6 State Championships in 2012 and 2013.
Warmack, a two-time Simone Award winner as the top prep football player in the Kansas City metro area, earned Missouri Class 6 Offensive Player of the Year honors by the Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA) after rushing for 2,223 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior.
After an outstanding high school linebacker career, which was capped off with 85 tackles including 36 for loss and 12 sacks his senior year, Lee was named MFCA Class 6 Defensive Player of the Year and was a two-time recipient of the Buck Buchanan Memorial Award.
Prewett, a defensive back, intercepted four passes and batted away nine others as a senior while also making an impact on his team's offense by grabbing 30 passes for 674 yards and 12 touchdowns.
All three were named to the 2013 MFCA All-State Squad.
"I think all three of them, in siting down and visiting with them, number one, they're good students, number two, they really do have those intrinsic values in place, number three, they're really serious about the game of football and being competitive and all three of them have that leadership capacity within them to be able to lead our program in that way as well," said Snyder.
It is an exciting time for K-State football as it looks forward to the future of its program; however, Snyder said the new class still has a long way to go.
"You never know until they get here," said Snyder. "It's going to take some time. It's going to take a year or two for the young guys to find out if they fit in the program appropriately, but I believe they will and I have that confidence in them."
As for Snyder and his football team coming off of a Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory, the energy is high as they look forward to a new year.
"I can see and our players see a distinct difference between how we've responded from having that late season success and finishing off with a victory in the bowl game," he said. "It's carried over with some momentum into the out of season program. They can identify that and, hopefully, it's motivation."
For more on this year's recruiting class, click here.
HIGHSCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETES (18)
Kendall Adams, DB, Fort Worth, Texas (All Saints Episcopal HS)
Tyler Ahrens, WR, Kerrville, Texas (Tivy HS)
Zach Davidson, QB, Harrisonville, Mo. (Harrisonville HS)
Winston Dimel, FB, Manhattan, Kan. (Manhattan HS)
Jeb Drost, OL, St. Joseph, Mo. (Central HS)
Bryce Fitzner, OL, Poway, Calif. (Francis Parker HS)
Dominique Heath, WR, Huntersville, N.C. (Hopewell HS)
Justin Hughes, LB, Tucker, Ga. (Tucker HS)
Elijah Lee, LB, Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs HS)
Colby Moore, DB, Argyle, Texas (Liberty Christian HS)
Kaleb Prewett, DB, Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs HS)
C.J. Reese, DL, San Antonio, Texas (James Madison HS)
Zach Reuter, WR, Columbia, Mo. (Rock Bridge HS)
Dalton Risner, OL, Wiggins, Colo. (Wiggins, HS)
Alec Ruth, OL, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Valor Christian HS)
Samuel Sizelove, LB, Argyle, Texas (Argyle HS)
Dayton Valentine, TE, Baldwin City, Kan. (Baldwin HS)
Dalvin Warmack, RB, Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs HS)
COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT-ATHLETES (9)
A.J. Allen, OL, El Cajon, Calif. (Grossmont College)
Terrell Clinkscales, DL, Maywood, Ill. (Dodge City CC)
Andre Davis, WR, Baltimore, Md. (Santa Rosa JC)
D'Vonta Derrricott, LB, Henrico, Va. (Garden City CC)
Luke Hayes, OL, Scott City, Kan. (Butler CC)
Terrale Johnson, OL, Manhattan, Kan. (Hutchinson CC)
Jesse Mack, DB, Spartanburg, S.C. (Highland CC)
Danzel McDaniel, DB, Dolton, Ill. (Dodge City CC)
Isaiah Riddle, LB, Newnan, Ga. (Scottsdale CC)
OTHER STUDENT-ATHLETES (1)
Will Ash, OL, Indianapolis (Cathedral HS)