2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR
was a time when a 4-7 season would have
been considered a pretty good year in Manhattan.
From 1937 to 1989, KSU earned just four
winning seasons. Last campaign certainly
didn't resemble the K-State teams that won
11 games in six of seven years from 1997-2003.
2004's nosedive left the Wildcats with their
first losing record since 1992 (5-6), 1990
(5-6), and 1989 (1-10, in coach Bill Snyder's
first year). It was also the first year
out of a bowl game since '92. This consistent
growth trend has made for an all-new attitude
on game days. Buoyed expectations are warranted
for this season, as years of these quality
finishes make a rebound expected, especially
with such strong recruiting now a regularity.
how much they improve is debatable. There
is enough experience at quarterback and
wide receiver, but there's a major hole
to fill at running back, though the backfield
may surprise many - we see less of a lull
than many expect. And with four new offensive
linemen to break in, the offense will be
challenged to have all cylinders hit simultaneously.
The defense will fall into place quicker.
The result will be some swagger back by
October, and the prospects for the future
beyond then become even brighter, but growing
pains will still come first.
starts with three non-cons, so it is possible
they slip early and don't pay for it within
the Big 12. The good news for K-State is
that their division is still down as a whole,
so once their head of steam is built up,
this team has as good a chance as any in
the North. Once Big 12 play hits, more bumps
will come. Away at Oklahoma as their first
conference tilt is only compounded by (at)
Texas Tech and A&M back-to-back, so
that secondary will know its worth by that
Wildcats aren't a great team, but they're
good enough to win the top half of the Big
12 and get into a bowl game. This will be
a fun team to watch and subsequently follow
into 2006, for the Wildcats have come a
long way since their Missouri Valley Conference
days. Turtle Creek Lake is such a nicer
place to be when Manhattan has that winning
2005 record: 5-6
Dylan Meier, 220-127-5, 1436 yds., 9 TD
Rushing: Allen Webb, 127 att., 418
yds., 8 TD
Receiving: Jermaine Moreira, 39 rec.,
406 yds., 4 TD
Scoring: Allen Webb, 8 TD, 48 pts.
Punting: Tim Reyer, 36 punts, 42.4
Tackles: Brandon Archer, 75 tot.,
Sacks: Scott Edmonds, 7 sacks
Interceptions: Maurice Porter, 2
for 10 yds., Brandon Archer, 2 for 52 yds.,
Kickoff Returns: Jermaine Moreira,
7 ret., 26.1 avg., 0 TD
Punt Returns: Yamon Figurs, 19 ret.,
7.3 avg., 0 TD
Darren Sproles-TB, Tony Madison-WR, Antoine
Polite-WR, Brian Casey-TE, Jon Doty-OT, Malcolm
Wooldridge-OG, Mike Johnson-C, Michael Weiner-OG,
Berry-DT, Kevin Huntley-DE, Maurice Thurmond-WLB,
Cedrick Williams-CB, David Rose-CB, Marcus
Patton-SS, Bret Jones-FS
Under head coach Bill Snyder, Kansas State has
fallen in love with dual-threat quarterbacks,
and the Wildcats have three to work with. Dylan
Meier and Allen Webb split time at QB in '04,
with Meier having the better arm, and Webb being
one of the best running QBs in the country. The
main starter won't be determined until fall camp,
because Meier sat out spring drills with the same
nagging injury from '04 (throwing shoulder). Meier
and Allen both have exceptional size and speed,
though Meier has shone the brightest. RS frosh
Allan Evridge, another highly anticipated regional
hot-shot, will challenge both. Look for Meier
to hold off both Webb and Evridge and be the starter
going into the year, with Webb getting mostly
rushing reps (higher INT %) - a rather obvious
"tell" for foes. The athletic ability
alone here makes this a very solid group, one
that is consistently dangerous throughout the
Sproles will be missed, and quick-footed, soft-handed
replacements are few and far between, but they
exist. Senior Carlos Alsup (state prep champ -
10.3 seconds in the 100 meter) hasn't played since
Week 2 of the 2003 season, as injuries (two knee
problems) have kept him off the field, but the
big, physical back is healthy and ready to become
the starter. But, without much experience, Alsup
won't necessarily start. Thomas Clayton, an FSU-transfer,
is the Wildcat's returning leading rushing at
RB, and his size, power and speed give him a great
shot at the starting job. Those two will get the
bulk of the carries, while shifty Donnie Anders
and Parrish Fisher, who moves well and can power
for yards inside, battle for carries. Victor Mann
returns to starter at fullback, and the wide body
will open up holes more than touch the ball. This
is a group with much to prove, and a revamped
front line will only add to the work already cut
out here. But this is a sneaky unit that will
This is the most stable area of the K-State offense.
Three starters are back, giving whoever plays
quarterback some comfort. Jermaine Moreira and
Davin Dennis are the possession receivers. Moreira
isn't big, but he's reliable, and makes big plays
happen. In addition to good hands, Dennis brings
speed and offers a bigger target than Moreira.
The Wildcats will go deep to junior Yamon Figurs.
Figurs has tremendous speed for deep routes, but
can also catch the tough ball underneath. There
are emerging backups ready for action (Jesse Martinez,
Toney Coleman), but little behind them, so health
could become a factor quickly if a few go down.
Passing offense was pretty bad last campaign,
so this unit has as much to prove as any.
Despite the lack of experience, the Wildcats are
in good shape here. Rashaad Norwood has the potential
to become one of the Big 12's best. He has great
hands and speed, but also has the size and strength
to be a good blocker. Brett Alstatt should be
a good one, and for years to come. He has shown
solid versatility as a blocker and receiver, has
good speed, and he's one of the program's best
athletes (state champion high jumper and state
runner-up in the hurdles in high school). T.J.
Finan is a walk-on who has great size and is a
good athlete who will complete three-TE sets well.
Norwood will be the bigger impact player in 2005,
but Alstatt and Finan's presences makes this a
group opponents cannot ignore.
The graduated linemen were a HUGE part of Sproles'
dominance. That's why 2005 could be a long year,
for the Wildcats try to break in four new starters
here. The lone line holdover is senior right tackle
Jeromey Clary (named team's Outstanding Lineman).
Big and strong, the Wildcats will run outside
well with his leadership. The other four starters
took snaps in practice, but didn't see many on
Saturdays. Greg Wafford has become quite a bit
stronger since arriving, which says much about
the already-powerful (TX) state 4A shot-put champ.
The Wildcats are set to hand the center duties
to freshman Ryan Schmidt, who had a tremendous
redshirt year and is the brightest young star
in the group. John Hafferty was so impressive
in '04 that he was the only true freshman in the
program to see playing time. He's still getting
better, and will start at left guard. Gerard Spexarth
is slated to start at left tackle, but he is still
too slow to be fully effective. Matt Boss is a
huge talent who we feel would make the transition
outside to make the new QB's blindside better
protected. There's no question the Wildcats have
talent here, but there are five players just two
years removed from high school who are expected
to play significant roles. Eventually, this group
could be special, but it won't be initially, and
any/constant reshuffling will keep it from gelling.
Replacing four reliable starters on the offensive
line with unproven youngsters is a scary proposition,
especially without Sproles upon which to bank.
It's the skill position players that get the most
attention and credit, but offenses are made or
broken by their linemen, which is why the Wildcats
are in for a campaign based on development, not
necessarily "winning at any cost". This
offense isn't made for such quick impact, yet.
The quarterbacks - whether it's Meier or Webb
- are capable of elevating the O to play above
its shortcomings, and the receiving corps is solid,
but with just one lineman on the two-deep with
any real playing time, the Wildcats will struggle
as the blocking unit gets its assignments straight.
The biggest surprise will be the RBs and how well
they keep the running game alive. Unknown to out-of-staters
(besides Clayton), the backs may not be Sproles,
but as a group, they are capable of making his
name an afterthought as they (collectively) rack
up yards. Numerical rankings may not be what they
once were, but impact on this side of the ball
will be more if they can just make the passing
game more consistent, and therefore make the team
flow (into a winning effort).
STATE 2005 DEPTH CHART
Finan-Jr / Brett Alstatt-Fr
This unit underachieved in 2004, so their work
is cut out here (allowed 4.1 per carry). Two full-time
starters are back, and several others do have
experience. At right (rush) end is Scott Edmonds.
He has a tremendous first step off the line to
show why he both forced three and recovered three
fumbles. Tearrius George is looking for a full-time
job, after starting four games in '04, and he'll
find one. At left end, George has the physical
tools and keen awareness to be a dominant player.
Derek Marso holds the middle well, but Quintin
Echols hasn't totally found his groove yet. The
biggest of the projected starters, Echols makes
it so both he and Marso cannot be double-teamed.
Jonathan Lewis, along with Steve Burch and Willie
Williams (JUCOs), are stellar incoming recruits
who will "quickly" improve the front-four.
Overall this is a good group that just needs to
grow into their roles to make their efforts matter
Perhaps the strongest area of the defense, three
players who started at least five games in '04
return. Strongside backer Brandon Archer (two
INTs for scores) is a play-maker, for sure, and
one of the best linebackers in the conference.
The best of the bunch, though, is Ted Sims, who
was hampered all year in '04 by injuries. Sims
was one of the team's best up-and-coming linebackers
(groin injury), and he's the definitive centerpiece
of hustle and viciousness in this corps. Marvin
Simmons will back up Sims and is sure to get a
lot of playing time after starting. Knowing when
to bend and not break is instilled here - their
thinking-caps are always on. These svelte LBs
should be able to hold the middle and underneath
well enough (alone) so that the safeties can help
out the new corners as needed.
Jesse Tetuan enters his third year as a starter,
and the free safety possess a good mix of ability
to cover receivers down field as well as stuff
running backs at the line of scrimmage. Beyond
Tetuan, there's little depth, but tons of talent.
Maurice Mack and Surrell Davis didn't play much,
but they'll battle for the starting strong safety
spot. Both are great athletes. Maurice Porter
is slated to start at one corner spot. He's very
physical, and has good height to make life tough
on opposing receivers. As stated, the Wildcats
will get a make-over on the corners. Senior Maurice
Garvin takes the mantle with vigor, ready to hold
his side down well. Byron Garvin, who has played
in nickel and dime sets, will take over the other
corner spot. Despite the lack of experience, the
Wildcats have decent depth. Marcus Watts - the
special teams MVP a year ago - will compete for
time at safety, and a host of JUCO recruits and
honed redshirts await assignment. Forget the experience
factor; this group is talented.
Last year was quite a disappointment, especially
considering the consistency that the Wildcats
had displayed in ranking among the top six defenses
every year from 1998 to 2003. A year ago, they
dropped all the way to 43rd and 84th in yards
and points allowed, respectively. Though, with
six starters back and the plethora of talent in
their developing recruits, a rebound is not only
possible, but likely. Don't expect the Wildcats
to be a top-10 defense, but they'll be considerably
better, especially in the middle (from front to
back). The opposing WRs will see two-deep coverage
and zone schemes meant to buffer the newer CBs,
but the CBs will step up in due time, and this
will be an underdog D that can sneak up on unsuspecting
foes, and they will be all that by midseason.
STATE 2005 DEPTH CHART
Moran-Fr / Jordan Bedore-Fr
The Wildcats have no experience to lean on early. Jeff
Snodgrass and Tim Schwerdt, a pair of sophomores, are
competing for top honors. Snodgrass has the more powerful
leg, but Schwerdt has a good, accurate leg, too. Both
are competing for kickoff duties. The Wildcats will
come close to a repeat in their strong coverage (ranked
Tim Reyer had a strong freshman campaign (29th-ranked),
and should again be among the nation's tops. He hits
nearly 43 per try, and can place them both inside the
20 and make sure they are fair caught (good hang time).
He has great size, and a strong leg. The punt defense
wasn't very good, though, it will be improved with the
other defensive improvements.
Sproles was also the wildcats' top KO return man in
'04, so there is a hole to be filled. The first candidate
is Yamon Figurs. He led the team in punt returns, and
is a tough man to bring down, with surprising inside
strength. Jermaine Moreiera will also compete here,
but Figurs (4.4-sec 40 time) is listed first on the
two-deep for both return slots.