Four Players Chosen as 2016 Football Captains

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder announced prior to Saturday's Purple/White Spring Game that safety Dante Barnett, quarterback Jesse Ertz, defensive end Jordan Willis and center Dalton Risner have been chosen by their teammates to serve as captains for the 2016 season. It marks the third-straight season Barnett has been elected a team captain, while the other three will serve for the first time.

A 2014 All-Big 12 performer who missed virtually the entire 2015 season due to injury, Barnett is the sixth three-time team captain in school history, joining Brooks Barta (1990-92), B.J. Finney (2012-14), Alex Hrebec (2009-11), Collin Klein (2010-12) and Mark Simoneau (1997-99). The Tulsa, Oklahoma, product has 181 career tackles and seven career interceptions. He saw a 27-game starting streak snap due to his injury in last year’s season opener, but he earned a medical hardship for the 2016 season.

Ertz earned the starting quarterback job out of fall camp in 2015 but was lost for the year due to an injury on the first play of scrimmage in last year’s season opener. Entering his fourth year in the program, Ertz has played in five games, rushing eight times for 51 yards.

A senior from Kansas City, Missouri, Willis has started every game over the last two seasons, including the 2015 campaign when he played at an All-Big 12 level. Willis totaled 36 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks last season, ranking second in the Big 12 in sacks and fourth in TFLs. He also ranked 13th nationally and tied for first in the league with four forced fumbles and blocked a field goal at Oklahoma State.

Risner, a sophomore from Wiggins, Colorado, is the second sophomore center to serve as team captain in the last five years as he follows in the steps of Finney. Risner started all 13 games in 2015, earning First Team Freshman All-America accolades from Campus Insiders and second-team honors from Athlon and Scout. He was also a Second Team Academic All-Big 12 performer.

K-State, which returns 38 letterwinners and 16 starters from last year’s squad, opens the 2016 season on Friday, September 2, with a trip to Palo Alto, California, to take on Stanford. Following a bye week, the Wildcats open their home slate by hosting Florida Atlantic on September 17, which serves as the eighth-annual K-State Family Reunion and debut of Phase IIIB of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan.

The 2016 home schedule features matchups against a pair of teams that earned bowl berths in 2015 in Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, while two other Big 12 rivals – Texas and Kansas – also come calling to Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

A limited number of single-game tickets for the 2016 season go on sale online only at www.k-statesports.com/tickets on June 20, while fans can purchase by calling the ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS beginning June 24.