Cats Versatile at the Ends
"It's just the nature of the spread offense," said Wildcat defensive end coach Joe Bob Clements. "If those teams in the South are going to spread out, we're going to have to spread out with them." If there's an area of talented depth on this year's Wildcat team, it's at defensive end where Clements lists up to six individuals vying for on-field snaps. Entering fall camp as No. 1s were Brandon Harold at end and Antonio Felder at "Bandit." The 6-foot-5, 264-pound Harold made a splash in his rookie season when he was named a 2008 Freshman All-American. Harold had 45 tackles with 10.5 of those being for losses. He also forced a pair of fumbles and deflected a pass. Harold's three quarterback sacks led the Big 12 among freshmen players and his 10.5 tackles for negative yards ranked first nationally among freshmen players. That, however, was followed by an injury plagued 2009 when he played in just one game. "He hasn't been on the field for a while, so we hope he can fall back on some of that experience of two years ago," said Clements. "He has a long, tall body, has some strength and is just an overall athletic kid, who has a high ceiling he can reach." Behind Harold is Payton Kirk, a 6-5, 264-pound junior, who has made spot appearances on defense in a total of 13 games in his fist two years, but also has picked up valuable experience on Kansas State's special teams. "Payton's a kid that just does things right and does them right all the time," said Clements. "He seldom makes a mistake." While the end position focuses first on being a good run defender and then a good pass rusher, the "Bandit" position focuses on stopping the run but also comes into play more in rushing the quarterback or dropping into pass coverage. "It's a position where we want a more versatile individual who can adjust to formations," said Clements. Felder, 6-2, 244 pounds and a senior, has played in every game the last two years at either linebacker or end. The Butler Community College transfer had 30 tackles last year with seven of those being for negative yardage. Against Oklahoma, he had a career-best five tackles. "He has a lot of experience, and at the end of last year he was probably our most consistent performer besides (Jeffery) Fitzgerald," said Clements. Josh Berard, a 6-1, 212-pound senior, will back Felder. Clements calls Berard "... our fastest end." NEWCOMERS: K-State has a trio of first-time performers that could very well be in the gameday rotation. Kadero Terrell (6-1, 237) was a transfer to the Cats from Garden City Community College last year, but suffered a broken bone in his leg and missed the entire season. Clarence Bumpas (6-1, 226) is a redshirt freshman out of Sierra High School in Colorado Springs, where he was tabbed as the 65th best outside linebacker in the nation. And, Jordan Voelker (6-2, 240) is a walk-on out of Butler Community College. SPEAKING OF WALK-ONS: In defining the perfect defensive end, Clements, a defensive end for K-State from 1995-98, said, "The first thing you look for is body type. You want a long, lean body with the kid having the ability to rush the quarterback with an initial burst of speed and ability to change directions. (Pause) All the things that made me a walk-on." A native of Emporia, Kan., Clements did walk on to the Kansas State program, but ended up a four-year letterman playing in 41 games and scoring 107 tackles. COACH CLEMENTS, defensive ends, ninth season at Kansas State: Clements, 34, coached at San Diego State and Kansas during the three year retirement of coach Bill Snyder ... has been a part of 11 bowl games as a player and coach for K-State.