K-State Holds Final Spring Press Conference


Spring Game Details

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On playing the spring game as an actual game as opposed to having a unique scoring system…
“I think it is just a matter of trying to keep it real, as much as anything. We consider the spring game as a 15th practice. It has always been a matter of just being able to replicate as much as we possibly can, a gameday experience. Keeping score the way you would on a Saturday afternoon is probably just a part of it.”

On the players’ execution improving this week…

“I think we are still inconsistent, but the answer to the question is yes, I have seen it improve. Probably when we practiced last, yesterday, I think it was undoubtedly a marked improvement throughout the course of spring. I mentioned earlier, I think that our first practice I was impressed with an awful lot of positive things that took place. I thought that yesterday’s work was above and beyond that. I think, in particularly with the offense, most people say, ‘Well, the offense always has to catch up to the defense.’ I do not know if I totally believe in that, but I have seen it from time to time. I think that began to make itself present yesterday afternoon. I thought we ran the ball, blocked better, blocked more aggressively. I thought that was a major issue yesterday. We threw and caught the ball well. Not that we did not play well on defense, but we do have some inconsistences there as well and some problems. In some areas, not many, it is more than just inconsistences – it is consistency of what we would not like. I do not know what tag to put on it, but it is just areas that have to make substantial improvement. Overall, I have seen our team grow and get better.”

On guys that have stuck out in the live scrimmages…
“It is just not a scrimmage; I put it all in the same context. We get every bit as much out of a regular practice without a scrimmage as we do with a scrimmage. Each segment has its own significance to our development. (Byron) Pringle is learning the system and rather rapidly. As he does, you see the skill level enhance itself. He sticks out in my mind. Defensively, I think Jordan Willis has had a really excellent spring, day in and day out. If you talk about inconsistencies, I would not talk about Jordan that way at all. He has been very consistent about what he has done in a good way.

“There is inconsistency there with the quarterbacks, but I think it is moving in a positive direction. You talk about three guys that are on the ground floor of competing for a starting spot. Every day it seems like one will rise up above the others and things are starting to register in your mind, and then the next day someone else does the same thing, which still makes it tremendously competitive. What it really signifies to me is that when somebody does well, the other notice that. That indicates to me the competitive nature and spirit of the others when somebody rises up. They compete, and I appreciate that as well. Scott Frantz has stepped up, and Reid Najvar. They are two offensive linemen that have caught my eye – and I am sure Coach (Charlie) Dickey’s as well – that are making really making headway so far this spring.”

On any offensive linemen emerging other than the ones mentioned earlier…
“There are several that are kind of in the same boat, but not really rising above the two that I mentioned. Will Ash is on the verge. Terrale Johnson is kind of on the verge, but not totally there yet.”

On Jordan Willis evolving as a leader…
“He is one of those by-example-type guys. I have tried to get him to enhance his verbal leadership, and at times he has done that. Then he gets so invested in what he is doing that he goes back to his normal routine. Playing as well as he is, I will accept that. Our players respect him because of how he competes, how hard he works, how he plays, and consequently there is some built-in leadership that goes in with that. Other guys want to follow suit.”

On Duke Shelley’s progression…
“He plays with more confidence right now. He is a very competitive young guy. He still has a ways to go. He is still a freshman, so to speak, but he has a strong desire to improve his capabilities and compete. I have seen him compete every day, but like I said, he is still going.”

Linebacker Will Davis
On what is important to show in the spring game…
“You just want to show off your playmaking ability. You want to show off a little bit and show all the hard work you put in through the course of the offseason and the strides that we made since last season. So we want to show off a bit, show what we can do and give a little preview for the fall.”

On where the defense has grown the most…

“I think, from a maturity standpoint, we have had some young guys who have had to step in. I think this spring really helps you mature quickly because if you do not, then you will lose your spot. It forces those young guys to mature very quickly and that benefits us as a defense.”

Linebacker Charmeachealle Moore
On the improvement of the defense this spring…
“We are very improved. We are playing faster. We have a lot of guys coming back, so they have the game player mentality. They know how the game is instead of just practicing, which has a lot to do with it.”

On if he likes the format of the spring game…
“I like it. It gets the guys who have not played in a routine of what a game day is like. We do it just like a game day. We go through everything, so we can help people get in the mentality of playing on game day.”

Quarterback Alex Delton
On his relationship with fellow quarterback Jesse Ertz…
“Jesse (Ertz), specifically, is just a good friend. We were both injured in the training room all last fall, so we got to spend a lot of time together. It’s not the time you want to spend together, but he has been a guy that has helped me ever since I got here. He has helped me become the best that I can be, and if there is anything he needs, I will help him also. Our friendship definitely took the next step last fall when we both got hurt. That is something unfortunate, but we can build off of it and we can carry it out on the field.”

On the wide receivers…
“We have a lot more speed at the receiver position. We have some younger guys that stepped up this spring. Their speed and agility has really helped them elevate themselves and make it notable for us. Those guys have really stepped up, and I am excited to work with them this summer and fall.”

Offensive Lineman Terrale Johnson
On the offensive line being rebuilt during the offseason…
“Coach (Charlie) Dickey is doing a great job. Everyone is out there competing. He is moving us all around; nothing is set in stone. His thing was there is no depth chart right now, so everyone is out there working hard. For him, it is who is going to compete for the starting spots. It is really just getting people on board.”

On quarterback Jesse Ertz…

“Jesse is a tough kid with his injuries and the things he has gone through. He is out there and performing well. He is running around happy and excited. You can just tell how much he loves the game. You would not know that anything is wrong when he is playing.”

Running Back Justin Silmon
On playing in front of fans on Saturday…
“It is very exciting. Each day at practice has been pretty exciting, but having people out there watching, you just want to show them how much you have improved.”

On the running back competition…
“The competition is great for every position in every sport. I think it has been pushing me and the other running backs. I do not expect the competition to stop any time soon.”

Tight End Dayton Valentine
On the tight ends…
“The tight ends are a young group. As a group, we just are trying to be solid and come a long ways. I know for me it helps that we are really competing this spring because we have a good group of defensive ends. Going against those guys, we are just trying to build depth and get more experience.”

On trying to be versatile…
“I am just trying to be as versatile as I can, doing some fullback and some H-back stuff. I’m lining up at tight end and trying to use all of my strengths to the best of my abilities.”