Proven in the Middle, Unproven on the Wings
Proven in the Middle, Unproven on the Wings
Aug. 10, 2011
Editor's Note: "K-State Sports Extra" continues its nine-part look at the 2011 Wildcats with each assistant coach taking an in-depth look at his respective position.
By Mark Janssen - K-State Sports Extra
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Tysyn Hartman and Ty Zimmerman are proven center fielders at safety, but the cast of right and left fielders, or cornerbacks ... now that's where it gets interesting for Tom Hayes' 2011 Wildcat secondary.
Of the safeties, the first year K-State secondary coach said, "Those guys are big, they're smart, they're a year older in the system, and they've competed like crazy to improve their play."
Hartman (6-3, 206, Sr.) has 37 K-State games on his resume, which included a 2009 season when he was voted honorable mention All-Big 12, and last year, when he was a first team Academic Big 12 performer. The former Kapaun Mt. Carmel product has 189 career tackles to his credit with 14 pass deflections, two forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered.
Zimmerman (6-1, 202, So.) was a Freshman All-American last year after recording 74 tackles with six pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.
"They're different types of players in that Tysyn is big for a safety with good movement skills. He's fast and quick for as big as he is," said Hayes. "Ty is younger and not as strong, but like Tysyn, he has good instincts for the position, which is what you like."
A touch ironic is the fact that both are former Kansas high school quarterbacks who made the move to defense after arriving at K-State.
"That's always a help," said Hayes of their background on offense. "They have a feel for disguising coverages and hiding the look and intent of the defense from the quarterback. Having played quarterback can do nothing but help them."
David Garrett is the lone cornerback-type with Big 12 experience, and he'll be joined by three junior college players - Allen Chapman and Nigel Malone from City College of San Francisco, plus Kip Daily of Blinn College - and freshman Randall Evans from the Florida prep ranks.
"Each one has some subtle talents, but you can tell that they can all cover and they can all run," said Hayes. "Now we just have to get them to run the right direction and be in the right spot at the right time. There's a speed of the game that they need to grow in to."
Garrett (5-8, 175, Sr.) was an honorable mention All-Big 12 performer last year when he ranked fourth in the league in tackles for losses with 15. Overall, the Fort Scott Community College talent scored a team-high 92 tackles with 10 pass deflections.
"He has the experience, toughness and competitiveness that you want at the position," said Hayes. "He just needs to continue to build on his game."
Malone (5-10, 176, Jr.) and Evans (5-11, 172, Fr.) were with the Wildcats during spring camp, while Chapman (5-11, 180, Jr.) and Daily (6-0, 185, Jr.) only hit the K-State practice field earlier this month.
"All are good competitive corners who have some size and speed," said Hayes. "There's no pecking order after David, and even he has to work every day to continue to get better. But with the late-arrivers, we now have depth and a crazy competition for the two positions."
Of the collective newcomers, Hayes said, "They have to adjust to the big-time. This is the Big 12 where big-time athletes line up each game. It's a big-time program with a big-time atmosphere. You have to learn how to grow into that. It doesn't happen overnight. It's a process."
MEET Tom Hayes (Defensive Passing Game Coordinator, Secondary)
First season at Kansas State, 29th year as a NCAA/NFL coach
Played defensive back at Iowa from 1967-71
Other D-I coaching stops at UCLA, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Stanford, Kansas and Tulane; NFL stops with the Redskins and the Saints
Hayes has been a part of 13 bowl games with UCLA, A&M and OU
Wife - Cindy; Children - Andy, Lindsay and Sarah
PROSPECTS AT SAFETY
Thomas Ferguson, 6-0, 200, Jr., Grand Prairie, Texas (Grand Prairie)
Tysyn Hartman, 6-3, 206, Sr., Wichita, Kan. (Kapaun Mt. Carmel)
Matthew Pearson, 6-0, 190, Sr., Wichita, Kan. (Hutchinson CC)
Ty Zimmerman, 6-1, 202, So., Junction City, Kan. (Junction City)
PROSPECTS AT CORNERBACK
Bubba Chapman, 5-11, 180, Jr., San Francisco, Calif. (City College of SF)
Kip Daily, 6-0, 185, Jr., College Station, Texas (Blinn College)
Randall Evans, 5-11, 172, Fr., Miami, Fla. (Palmetto)
David Garrett, 5-8, 175, Sr., Cleveland, Ohio (Fort Scott CC)
Nigel Malone, 5-10, 176, Jr., Manteca, Calif. (City College of SF)
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