Klein More Than Ready for Season to Begin

Tysyn Hartman

July 27, 2011

By Mark Janssen - K-State Sports Extra

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DALLAS, Texas – Here are a few things you may not know, or remember, about Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

First, he was recruited by Ron Prince in the class of 2008 prior to being inherited by current coach Bill Snyder.

Of the legendary coach of today, Klein, who was joined here by teammates Arthur Brown and Tysyn Hartman at the Big 12 Media Days, says, “I have great respect for the man and what he does. No one cares about us more, or about this program more, than he does.”

On the coaching transition, the 6-foot-5, 226-pound junior added, “I truly believe God’s timing is perfect and everything happens for a reason within his plan. I didn’t fully understand what happened or why it happened, but God gave me a peace that all would work out the way it was intended to.”

Secondly, the recruitment for Klein’s talents out of Loveland High School in Colorado was only, well, as he tells the story, “My recruiting was medium … very modest … because I broke my ankle four games into my junior season. I sat out only two games and then returned because at the time they didn’t know it was broken.”

The recruitment for the No. 7-rated prospect in Colorado was a similar feeling of “peace” as he studied up on the K-State tradition, making a pair of unofficial visits, and attending a summer camp before offering his verbal commitment to the Wildcats in April prior to his senior season.

“Things just clicked. I felt totally at peace with the campus, the people, and the staff here was excellent,” said Klein, who had recruiting interest from Utah, Wyoming, Air Force, and Colorado State … but not Colorado. “I truly believe that God led me here, and because of that, I was always comfortable with the decision.”

Klein said his preparation for this fall season is no different than a year ago when the battle was between himself and Carson Coffman.

“You always prepare yourself to be the starter,” said Klein. “I wasn’t the starter for most of the season last year, but I did get starts in a couple games, and I had to be ready. Nothing has changed in preparation. I’m working as hard as I can.”

K-State has scored three straight wins over the University of Texas, but quizzed about whether he’s glad to be playing the Longhorns every year under the new Big 12 format, head coach Bill Snyder offered a quick, “No.”

“We’ve been very, very fortunate. I don’t think there’s anybody that doubts the quality and capabilities of the University of Texas,” said the Wildcat coach. “We all realize that these are the highest-caliber young players (that Texas has). We’ve just been fortunate that our players play extremely hard and things just kind of fell into place.”

Snyder added, “I hope we continue to have good fortune, but I can assure you that we don’t have anybody’s number … Texas or anybody else.”

Wildcat senior and Wichita Kapaun product Tysyn Hartman has vivid memories about his school’s Homecoming game in his senior year.

“I saw that we were playing Wichita East and I just asked, ‘WHY?’ Why would you schedule a Homecoming game against a team that had Arthur and Bryce Brown?” asked Hartman.

The Wildcat safety started training with the Brown brothers as a freshman and the families are good friends.

“I knew when they announced they were coming to K-State that we were getting some quality individuals and good additions to our team,” said Hartman, who has already graduated with a degree in finance heading into his senior playing season.

Of Arthur Brown, Hartman, a high school quarterback, said, “He’s so instinctive as a linebacker. He knows where the ball is and has the athletic ability to get to the ball. I remember watching that film in high school and seeing how fast he was, and once he got his hands on you, you were going down.”

Oh, who won that Homecoming game?

“Oh, they did. It was one of those you like to forget,” said Hartman.

After having to sit out the 2010 season following a transfer from Miami, Arthur Brown said he was more than ready for the 2011 season to begin.

“Thirty-nine days until the first kickoff. It can’t come soon enough,” said Brown. “Even though I was part of the team last year, I didn’t get to contribute on the field, which was tough.”

After a rotation of national and Big 12 media, including television, radio and print, Brown said at mid-day, “I’m talked out.”

Quizzed about the improvement of the Wildcats, Snyder said, “I think we have the capacity, perhaps, to become a deeper football team. By that I mean just more young guys that can create a quality two-deep for us.

“We’re not there by any stretch of the imagination, and we’re still struggling with scholarship count (69), but at this point you can’t just go out and get an additional 15 or 16 guys because of the rules and limitations on the 25-scholarship limit.”

K-State’s team reports to camp on August 3, followed by the Wildcats’ Media Day on August 5.

The season opener is Sept. 3 against Western Kentucky.

K-State received little respect from the Big 12 Preseason Media Poll, which put the Wildcats at No. 8, only ahead of Iowa State and Kansas.

Oklahoma received 41 out of 43 first-place votes with the other two going to Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.

Rounding out the standings were Missouri, Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech in positions four through seven.

In eight preseason national publications, OU was ranked No. 1 by Blue Ribbon, Lindy’s, ESPN and Texas Football. The Sooners were also second by Sporting News, Athlon and Phil Steele, and third by College Football News.

Texas A&M was ranked as high as No. 6 and in the Top 10 in five of the publications, while O-State was ranked as high as No. 6 and in the Top 10 of three listings.

Also receiving Top 25 mention were Missouri and Texas.

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