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K-State Holds Second Spring Football Presser


GO WILDCATS
Collin Klein, BJ Finney and Braden Wilson

GO WILDCATS
Collin Klein, BJ Finney and Braden Wilson
GO WILDCATS

April 17, 2012

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Sams...
“He is very athletic, which is a very positive thing. He has capabilities to do certain things, but he has not done them yet. He has the ability to throw the ball, and he has not done that yet at least in the spring. For whatever reason, Daniel really caught your eye as a scout squad quarterback. Now that he has to accumulate all this information, I think it is somewhat slowing him down. He has a long way to go but he is a talented young guy.”

On running back Robert Rose…
“He is probably one of the most impressive guys in the spring practices. He really had a great scrimmage yesterday. He is very competitive with Angelo Pease for the backup spot.”

On the quality of scrimmages to date…
“We have not had a large number of them, and some of them were mini-scrimmages where it is just a portion of the practices. We did scrimmage last night, but I was not overly excited about it. We do have a number of young guys that I have been pleased with. With Anthony Cantele, he was a little banged up, but he is getting back to kicking the ball well right now. On the defensive side, John Sua has really made some headway, and I really like his effort and competitive nature, as a defensive lineman, right now. Vai Lutui has picked up where he left off and continues to be prominent as an interior defensive lineman. I do not normally like talking about freshmen but we have a youngster named Michael Moore, who kind of got everybody’s attention yesterday as a linebacker for us.  At the same token, we have a young safety, who I think is going to be very competitive behind Thomas Ferguson, by the name of Jarard Milo. He has really had some consistent performances throughout the scrimmage days. On the offensive side of the ball, Collin (Klein) has not done anything to disappoint us. He has taken some strides forward. Travis Tannahilll is practicing very well, and he has done a nice job. He has become a more physical and aggressive player. He has caught the ball extremely well, and he has become a more physical presence at the line of scrimmage.  Nick Puetz, who was a starter for us last year, has really made some forward strides and has become a better player up to this point in time. I really like our younger receivers in particular. They have practiced very hard and continued to be very productive at what they do. Tramaine Thompson, Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton practice well.”

On the offensive line…
“Manase Foketi really has not performed up to what I think his abilities are at this point in time. Certainly having Nick Puetz and BJ Finney back will help. BJ has taken over a leadership role with our offensive line, and that has been very beneficial. As I mentioned, Nick has really improved his performance. Again, I like some of our younger guys even though they did not practice or scrimmage well yesterday. Aside from that, they have put in a pretty prominent six days of work up to that point in time. They fell back a little bit, but I am confident in the progress that they will continue to make because they are good hard workers. They have picked the system up rather rapidly.”

On the race for the back-up quarterback spot…
“Tay Bender is making headway right now at that position. Sam Johnson is a player who understands the system. He is kind of an undersized quarterback, but he really gets it. He understands our offense and understands defenses. He makes good decisions. He is a very secure quarterback, I think. Bender is kind of a combination guy who runs the ball very well. He is deceptively fast. He is athletic. He throws the ball with a good motion. He does not always know where he is going with it right now as a freshman. He just needs to keep learning the offense and keep understanding defenses, so that is still a work in progress.”

On Ty Zimmerman…
“Ty is such a consistent player. You go out and watch a practice, and you wonder if he was out there that day. For the most part, you look for mistakes and the good parts you take for granted. He just does not show up in the negative column very much. He is just a very consistent player. He is getting accustomed to playing with a little more weight, and that is always a challenge for guys who play positions that have to run a lot.”

Wide Receiver Curry Sexton
On the wide receiver position…
“I think we are building on what we did in the fall. We are returning almost everybody into the spring with a lot of experience and a lot of depth. I think from the two-deep and then some, we have seven or eight guys at this point who are capable of making plays across the board. We might not be the biggest set of receivers, but we have added some size with Kyle Klein and Torrell Miller. I feel like from top to bottom we have a lot of speed and a lot of versatility. Going forward, I look forward to seeing more good things.”

On competition within the group…
“The receiver group probably gets along as well as anybody on the team. We are probably the tightest position group. We are just a fun group. You know Chris Harper and Tramaine Thompson, those guys are really fun to be around and they make everything easy and you get a good laugh. At the receiver position, we definitely work, but we have a lot of fun at the same time.“

On the progress made within the wide receivers…
“I think with each year, you learn experience and you learn the ins and outs of the position. Every year, you lose a couple guys and then you have to start from ground zero and you have to build back up, but I think this year, returning as many as we have, I think we have been able to continue forward and continue some things we were not able to do last year. I think we have jumped into things at this point, way ahead of where we normally are.“

Tight End Travis Tannahill
On Collin Klein…
“He is a lot better, comfort-level wise. He is doing a great job so far. His understanding of the offense has grown since the end of last season. You can definitely tell he has put in the work during this off-season and the winter. You can definitely tell he has improved a lot since the Arkansas game.”

On next season’s schedule…
“I just saw the schedule and I do not remember anything from it. I am excited to play TCU. I have a buddy that plays; he is a second or third string quarterback, so I am excited to play them and see what they have to offer.“

On the progress made along the offensive line…
“Offensive line, we definitely have a few new guys, some redshirt freshmen. They are stepping up and doing a good job. We are just trying to get them up to speed in calling the right calls. BJ at center really helps; everything starts from the center out, guards make their calls, then the tackles and tight ends. BJ is a good rock down there. It will definitely help us in the fall and spring.“

Quarterback Collin Klein
On the wide receivers…
“It is a competition right now. We have a lot of guys that can really play; they are doing really well. Top to bottom, they are making great plays. Blocking and catching well. I know we will do some good things. Obviously, we are trying to move forward in some areas. We are leaving some plays out there, both on their part and my part, but then again, we are just trying to get better. The effort is there, and we will see what happens.”

On if he plans on throwing the ball more…
“Whatever we have to do to win. That is what I have said forever. I think we have improved in that area, and we continue to improve in that area. It boils down to whatever we have to do win.“

On Travis Tannahill…
“Travis is doing well. He was really banged up last spring, so I think he is now fully healthy. You can see the difference. He has great hands.“

On the quarterbacks behind him…
“They are working extremely hard. Coach Miller is pushing all of us, trying to get us better and trying to get us to improve. That learning curve is steep. We are young overall at the position, but they will learn pretty quick. There is no choice.“