Four Greats Added to Football Ring of Honor
Four Greats Added to Football Ring of Honor
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Athletics Department and football program will welcome four new members to the K-State Football Ring of Honor as former Wildcat greats Michael Bishop, Jordy Nelson, Clarence Scott and Darren Sproles will comprise the third class inducted into the elite fraternity, bringing the total number to 14.
"Like previous Ring of Honor classes these are not only skilled athletes and All-Americans at the positions they played at Kansas State but quality gentlemen who genuinely care about their university and their football program," Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Snyder said. "They join the previous 10 Consensus All-Americans having represented their university with class and dignity. I am so very proud of this and previous classes having coached nine of the 14 of them."
These four legends of Kansas State football will have their names permanently affixed to the facing inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium during a halftime presentation of the 2015 season opener against South Dakota. The names will also be prominently shown on the Ring of Honor display in the West Stadium Center concourse inside Gate B.
"We are thrilled to honor these four football greats and K-State graduates who have had a transformational impact on the success of our football program and continue to be tremendous ambassadors for our university," said Athletics Director John Currie. "Each of these individuals has displayed tremendous integrity and overall excellence both on the field, and we are proud to recognize them for their commitment and contributions."
One of the most dynamic players in program history, Bishop played a major role in propelling the Wildcats to their first-ever No. 1 national ranking during the second of his two seasons at K-State (1997-1998). The 1998 Heisman Trophy runner up and the Davey O'Brien Award winner, Bishop still holds the K-State season passing efficiency record after a 159.6 rating in 1998 (164-of-295 for 2,844 yards and 23 TDs/4 INTs) in addition to the season total offense mark at 3,592 yards. He went 22-3 as a starter, including a 15-1 mark in Big 12 play, while also earning All-Big 12 honors both as a junior and senior. Bishop was taken in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft by New England.
A former walk-on who started his Wildcat days as a defensive back, Nelson made his mark on the Wildcat program during his final season as he was named a 2007 Consensus All-American and finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. In 2007, Nelson set school records for receptions in a game (15) and season (122), receiving yards in a game (214) and season (1,606) and yards per game in a season (133.8). He finished the year with 122 catches for 1,606 yards and 11 touchdowns and went on to be taken 36th overall by Green Bay in the 2008 NFL Draft. He finished his career with 206 catches for 2,822 yards and 20 scores.
A defensive back from 1968-70, Scott played in the first game at now-Bill Snyder Family Stadium. As a senior in 1970, he earned First Team All-America honors from Sporting News and Look Magazine in addition to being a First Team All-Big Eight honoree. Drafted 14th overall in the 1971 NFL Draft by Cleveland, Scott played 13 seasons in the NFL and helped the Browns earn four playoff appearances, while he was a 1973 Pro Bowler. He also is a member of the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Sproles was one of the most dangerous all-purpose players in college football during his time at K-State (2001-2004) and as a junior helped lead the Wildcats to the 2003 Big 12 Championship and a berth in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy race that season, but his career rushing and all-purpose numbers still rank atop the school records. K-State's all-time leading rusher with 4,979 yards, Sproles currently has three of the school's top four season rushing marks and totaled 24 100-yard rushing games including a string of 10 straight during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. His 2,735 all-purpose yards in 2003 are the 10th-most in NCAA history, while his career total of 6,812 is also tops in schools history. He was then drafted by San Diego in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
The inaugural class, which was honored in 2002, included Lynn Dickey, Steve Grogan, Jaime Mendez, Sean Snyder, Gary Spani and Veryl Switzer, while David Allen, Martin Gramatica, Terence Newman and Mark Simoneau were added in 2008.
The Ring of Honor is designed to recognize those in the football program who have distinguished themselves on and off the field. Among the criteria considered is quality of character, whether the person is an excellent representative of K-State, whether a person has achieved performance that warrants consensus All-America level status at Kansas State University or performed at a program-transformational level that warrants consideration, and the student-athlete has to be at least five years out of school.
Kansas State, which returns 44 letterwinners -- including 16 starters -- from last year's 9-4 team, begins the 2015 campaign on Saturday, September 5, by hosting South Dakota at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The other six home games feature five opponents that advanced to bowl games in 2014, including a pair of top-10 teams in TCU (No. 3/3) and Baylor (No. 7/8).
A limited number of single-game tickets for the 2015 season go on sale online only at www.k-statesports.com/tickets on June 22, while fans can purchase by calling the ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS beginning June 24.