We know that Skylar Thompson will be the starting quarterback for Kansas State but the rest of the depth chart is still to be determined.
Jaren Lewis took steps forward in the Spring. Will Howard made considerable progress in his first actual offseason. And Jake Rubley arrived as a prized recruit and four-star prospect.
It’ll be interesting to see how Chris Klieman views that room, what he says about Thompson’s health after missing most of last season and who is the favorite to take the snaps that Skylar doesn’t.
RUNNING BACK PECKING ORDER
One of the positions we know the least about is running back. Brian Anderson’s backfield is a complete mystery outside of Deuce Vaughn.
Keyon Mozee has departed. Tyler Burns and Harry Trotter have left. Joe Ervin opted out last year. Jacardia Wright has had an up-and-down career that has shown to be quite unpredictable. CJ Price has never played, and DJ Giddens and Devrin Weathers just arrived.
It might be a spot that has considerable depth, or it might be a spot that underwhelms because of a lack of experience. We don’t have those answers and perhaps we’ll gain just a bit of clarity on Wednesday.
Chris Klieman (Grant Flanders/K-StateOnline)
HEALTH AND CULTURE
Not only will it be curious to hear Klieman explain the status of Thompson, of which I’m sure is at or near 100 percent by this point, there are a few others that were out for much of the offseason.
Taylor Poitier missed the Spring, as did starting receiver Chabastin Taylor and defensive back TJ Smith. Are they progressing? Has everything gone according to schedule and are all anticipated to be healthy and full-go for fall camp?
Culture can sometimes win games. Culture can sometimes lose games. It likely won them some games two seasons ago, but it unraveled on them and caused losses in the second half of last season. They never won another game after beginning the year 4-1.
Has that been resolved? Has it been repaired to Klieman’s satisfaction? Is he comfortable and confident enough to not see it as a liability any longer? Those will be some of the questions asked of the head coach in Arlington.
Klieman and some of the roster have already discussed and answered questions about the first wave of transfers, but not the second wave.
That group consists of Hutchinson C.C. prospects Kingsley Ugwu and Tyrone Howell, Nebraska wideout transfer Kade Warner and defensive backs Reggie Stubblefield and Cincere Mason.
Five transfers were around for spring ball and five weren’t.
I’m curious as to what kind of roles are expected of each and where they specifically will align themselves.
TJ Smith (Kansas State Athletics)
Identifying the starting nickel has been a storyline for the entire offseason, and it was looking particularly troublesome about a month and a half ago. It appeared that the only transfer additions in the secondary would be Julius Brents and Russ Yeast.
It changed suddenly.
Stubblefield’s situation was ironed out, and instead of never stepping foot in Manhattan, he was admitted as a full qualifier. Additionally, Kennesaw State’s Mason was also added to help supplement the secondary.
It isn’t clear who will play where just yet, but the speculation is that Stubblefield can man the nickel role and Mason will line up at safety. Depth still becomes a bit of an issue at that point, but hopefully TJ Smith is healthy enough to be a bit of a swiss-army knife for Joe Klanderman’s unit.
We may uncover some more concrete answers this week.