Sports Extra: Sexton Earns Way onto the Field

Curry Sexton chose to walk-on at K-State over offers from Columbia and Harvard.

Sept. 21, 2011

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By Mark Janssen

There aren’t too many recruiting stories out there like Curry Sexton’s.

First, he says, “It was Harvard initially, but then I fell out of love with Harvard, so honestly it came down to Columbia and Kansas State.”

With an ACT score of 28, Sexton said it would have been “… football that would have been the highway into an elite school like Columbia.”

But honestly, the Abilene High School product knew in his heart that his dream school was just down the I-70 highway 45 miles to the east at Kansas State.

Growing up, he said, “I had a number of K-State heroes starting with my cousin, Ted Sims (a K-State linebacker), and later Lamar Chapman, and David Allen, and Darren Sproles, and Jordy Nelson. There were a lot of them.”

On recruiting resumes Sexton didn’t have that star-factor. At 6-0, he wasn’t tall enough; at 190 pounds, he wasn’t big enough; and at 4.6, maybe, he wasn’t fast enough.

Oh, it was good enough to be an All-State defensive back, and an offensive talent who rushed for 2,500 yards and caught passes for 1,500 more, but that was for the Cowboys in the Class 4A North Central Kansas League.

Only K-State thought those numbers could translate to the Big 12 Conference as a wide receiver.

“When coach (Joe) Gordon called and offered me a grayshirt opportunity, it was a done deal,” said Sexton. “I didn’t even talk to my parents too much because I knew this is where I wanted to be.”

Today, Sexton, who had one catch for four yards against Kent State, says he gives the Wildcats “… a guy who has a knowledge for the game. I’m a guy who runs good routes and can find open spots in the defense. I’m a guy who will throw his body around.

“I just don’t believe in having to be so big or so fast to play this game,” said Sexton, who has a spot on all four K-State special teams. “You see guys all over the country getting it done who aren’t big enough or fast enough. It helps to be so big, or so fast, as long as you have those other skills and a work-ethic, that can help take you where you want to go.”

For Sexton, where he wanted to go was K-State.

“I can’t even explain it. This is something I’ve been watching since I was a 3- or 4-year-old,” said Sexton of trotting onto the Bill Snyder Family Stadium turf for the first time. “You hear people talk about a surreal feeling … well, this was a surreal feeling. The atmosphere was just unbelievable. Running out of that tunnel was a dream come true.

“I remember turning to Tyler Lockett (another freshman) during the first game and just saying, ‘We’re finally here.’ It was amazing,” said Sexton.

Arriving on the team during the spring, Sexton wasn’t sure he was going to play this season until 48 hours before the opener with Eastern Kentucky.

“I had some conversation with coach (Snyder), and my family, but everyone agreed that not redshirting was the best way to go,” said Sexton. “I wanted whatever was best for the team, and coach Snyder and coach (Michael) Smith said they wanted me on the field. In the end, you always want to be out there on Saturdays. It’s been a 365-day fight for me to get on the field. I’m here to make the most of it.”

Also offering a bit of advice was Sexton’s uncle, John Dorsey, who is the Director of Scouting for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

“He just said that if you’re on the scout team, go as hard as you can every day to make yourself better and your team better,” said Sexton. “He was supportive either way and just encouraged me to work as hard as I could.”

Now that he’s on the field, Sexton says, “I want to make these next four years as much fun as possible and to win as many games as possible. Nothing matters but getting W’s on Saturdays to get the program back to where it was. We want to be that team that wins 10 or 11 games each year. That’s what the goal is.”

Offensive Line Depth a Concern: Injuries continue to hit K-State’s offensive line as missing Saturday’s game at Miami will be center Shaun Simon and left tackle Manase Foketi. Simon was injured in the Eastern Kentucky opener, while Foketi suffered an injury last week against Kent State.

Zach Hanson, a 6-8, 300, Sr, will take the place of Foketi.

Of the depth from tackle-to-tackle, Snyder said, “We went from feeling reasonably good about it, to having a concern about it. Yes, it’s definitely a concern.”

At this time, Snyder said there were no plans to take freshmen out of redshirt years.

“If it were going to happen, it would be reasonably quickly, but not for this game,” said Snyder.

On Playing Miami: Asked about playing a team the caliber of Miami during the non-conference portion of the season, Snyder said, “It’s not my preference.”

ESPNU: Saturday’s game with 1-1 Miami has a 2:30 p.m. (central time) start at Sun Life Stadium, which is also the home of Major League Baseball’s Florida Marlins. Because of that, the baseball infield portion of the football field will be dirt instead of grass.

The game will be televised on ESPNU with Clay Matvick and Brian Griese handing the broadcast.

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