Focus Now, Reminisce Later

The senior offensive lineman from Andale, Kansas, isn't going to focus on the fact that, on Friday evening, he will compete for the final time in Wildcat uniform - the fact that his career with K-State will conclude so soon.
No, Finney, who has started more football games (51) than any Wildcat under head coach Bill Snyder, is focused on one thing and one thing only: preparation to take on UCLA in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
On Friday at 5:45 p.m., No. 11 K-State (9-3, 7-2 Big 12) will conclude its 2014 season with a matchup against No. 14 UCLA (9-3, 6-3 Pac 12) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
While Finney isn't reflecting back on his career just yet, there's no reason we can't take a look back at what this unique player has meant to the program over the past five years.
One of just three K-State players in school history to earn all-conference honors in four consecutive seasons - including first-team designations each of the last three -Finney's accolades in 2014 alone include Big 12 Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year, a Rimington Trophy finalist designation (given to the nation's top center) and All-America honors from USA Today (second team), Athlon (third team) and Sports Illustrated (honorable mention).
He has started every K-State football game since his redshirt freshman year of 2011 and was recently selected to participate in the 90th East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Florida, next month. 
Along with his talent and focus on the football field, Finney's leadership qualities are second to none, which is demonstrated by the fact that he became the first offensive lineman in school history and the fifth player overall to be named a team captain three times.
"B.J. is a fantastic young person as well as being a very knowledgeable and excellent player," said head coach Bill Snyder. "All that experience, being able to define defenses, make the calls of who is going to block who and have a good understand of it, he's been awfully good. 
"He's a very caring and quality leader as well," continued the Wildcat coach. "That capacity has been with him from day one. He's been a three-year captain, and the players vote on that. They've appreciated his leadership all along, and I do too. It's a unique type of leadership for this day of age: he's very demanding type leader, he's vocal about doing the right things, but he walks the talk. He's a good man."
As Finney prepares for the final game of his career, putting aside the emotions is no easy task, but it's what has to be done, he explained, in order for him and his teammates to find success between the white lines. 
He stays focused by keeping himself busy, watching as much film as he can get his hands on and having a good time in his final days with the team.
"It's difficult, but it's just one of those things where you have to keep busy," he explained. "There's always more preparation that you can do."
After all, the Wildcats do still have a lot to play for. 
A win on Friday would mark the third time in his career Finney would help the team to double-digit wins and could, potentially, rank K-State in the nation's top 10 to conclude the 2014 season - something Finney and his fellow seniors have never done. 
"That would mean a lot to me, three 10-win seasons, that's something to be truly proud of, especially in the Big 12 Conference," said Finney about the opportunity at hand. "It's a mark, it's a standard that we're trying to set. It's a legacy that we're trying to leave as a senior class, and right now that's the best one we can leave. So that's what we're shooting for."
While Finney's emotions will be running high after the game, right now it's all about focus.
"I'd be lying to you if I said that I haven't thought about it, but it's one of those things where you have to reel it in and stay focused," concluded Finney. "It's not the time to coast and think, 'Wow, look what my class has done, look what we've been a part of.' 
"We still have something that matters on the table. So, after January 2, when everything is over with, that's when I'll sit back and reflect, soak it all in, but that time hasn't come yet. Right now I'm not allowing myself to think about that."
 

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