Sports Extra: K-State Has Been a "Godsend" to Finney

Offensive Line Coach Charlie Dickey

Aug. 24, 2011

By Mark Janssen – K-State Sports Extra

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B.J. Finney’s summer was one of a big gulp at first, followed by screams and then cries of “Fore!”

Flash back to the first week in June when the Kansas State walk-on was lounging in his Manhattan home with roommates and teammates Collin and Kyle Klein.

As Finney tells the story, “I get this call from my position coach (Charlie Dickey), and I was scared to death that I had forgotten something. I know I had a timid voice when I answered because I just had this feeling that I had screwed up.”

Finney, K-State’s Scout Team Player of the Year from last fall, was way off base.

“He said, ‘B.J., I have a question for you. How would you like to be on full scholarship?’ ” Finney explained. “I remember taking a big gulp… just froze. Collin said all the color drained out of my face. I’m not sure what I told Coach Dickey at the time, but I can’t thank him and Coach (Bill) Snyder enough for this opportunity.”

After relocating his composure, it was time for Finney to have some fun.

“After I calmed my nerves, I decided to pull a prank on my mom (Christy),” said Finney. “I called her when she was at a family function. I tried to sound all depressed and glum: ‘Mom, I have some sort of bad news.’ In an irritated voice, she said, ‘What?’ ”

That’s when Finney sprung the news that he had earned a full ride scholarship.

“I’ve never heard a person scream so much in my life,” laughed Finney, who was also recruited by Ohio and Kansas. “I had to take the phone away from my ear. All she did was scream and then scream some more.”

Finney’s father, J, died seven years ago, but B.J. says, “I would like to think he’s proud of me. It would be awesome for him to be a part of this.”

A few weeks later, Finney joined the elder Klein on multiple Catbacker stops and displayed his golfing semi-skills. Had there been a gallery, the cry of ‘Fore!’ would have been appropriate more than once.

“Hey, I got better,” Finney stated as the summer events progressed.

What has truly progressed in the last year is Finney’s football game from his days at Andale High School where he was a two-year all-state player. Part of the K-State scouting report on Finney was that he played football with toughness and grit like those trenchmen before him in the pre-facemask and leather helmet days.

In high school, Finney played tackle “… because I was the biggest guy on the team.” K-State recruited him, however, as “… just as a lineman. They told me to come as a walk-on and they’d find a spot that would fit me, or where they needed help. I knew coming in I would be a utility player.”

While tinkering at a number of positions during his 2010 scout team year, Finney quickly found a comfort at snapping the ball, which also was a position that would be vacant in 2011 with the graduation of two-year starting center Wade Weibert.

Today, Finney, a former Kansas state wrestling champion, says, “Everything about K-State has been a God send to me. Coach Joe Bob (Clements) told me it would possibly be two years before I could really contribute, and he never talked about starting… just earning some playing time. To possibly be starting after one year is a Godsend… a true blessing. I put the hard work in and it’s been rewarded.”

Oh, that Scout Team Player of the Year Award he earned at the close of the 2010 season? Finney says he wanted to scream, but nothing came out.

Sitting in the auditorium, Finney reflected, “I had no idea it was coming. It was such a huge thrill. I heard my name announced and didn’t believe it. I was in shock. I just shook my head. I couldn’t say a word. Finally someone punched me and told me to go up on stage. It was awesome.”

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