*************SUBSCRIBE TO K-STATE ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE***********
In a bit of a twist this week, the KSO Notes will be a combination of direct quotes from Bill Snyder and then my thoughts on that quote and/or any context I can provide.
Let's do this.
On Da'Quan Patton...
"(Patton) has really come along well this spring. I've been pleased with what he's done. It takes a good deal of time to get acclimated to so many things. He's a bright young guy, but it's processing information as fast as you have to. He's made some progress. This spring is the first time we've really been able to get an 'under the gun' look at what his capabilities are. He's done well with it. You can see his athletic ability take off when he learns how to do that."
On Patton's athleticism...
"He runs well. He has quickness to him. But that's also a mental thing. If you don't process rapidly enough it hurts your quickness. He has the capacity to do it."
My Thoughts: This is the second straight week Patton was singled out and praised by Snyder when asked about his progress. Patton was also pleasant to talk with when the players came in and spoke in a manner that would have pleased Snyder tremendously. He's going to start at linebacker.
Who has stood out in the last week?
"Walter Neil comes to mind. He plays with a good deal of athletic ability. He's just in the process of learning how to process in information. He's making progress and tends to get himself a little better every day."
"If we played a ballgame right now tomorrow (Neil and Shelley) would likely be the two starers."
My Thoughts: In talking with Neil after Snyder, I still get the sense this is K-State's starting nickel back, even though the head coach talked about him being the corner opposite Shelley. Parker seems more like a "traditional" corner, while Neil makes a lot of since at the nickel - the position he prefers.
Players talked a lot last week about the pace of the offense...
"(Pace) is always a point of emphasis. I think our coaches have done a nice job of being able to impliment that. You want to get as much into practice as you possibly can. Our players have responded accordingly in trying to push the envelope in that respect."
My Thoughts: I'm interested to see if all this "pace" talk is about practice or translates to how quickly the Wildcats play in games. We won't know this until the season kicks off...
Thoughts on the new rule about being allowed to fair catch kickoffs inside the 25?
"I'll trust what they say, that there's a belief it will prevent some injuries then I'm in favor of it. How will we respond to it? How's it going to impact our return team, our kickoff team? Sean and I are in discussion on how we're going to handle that. it remains to be seen. We haven't made any clear decision on this."
My Thoughts: At first glance, to me this is a terrible rule change for K-State. The Wildcats are maybe the best team in the country at pinning teams inside the 20 on kickoffs. This hidden yardage was huge. We'll see what happens, but I worry about this from a Wildcat perspective.
Will you do anything different in the Spring Game this year?
"We will just go out and play. Will be a regular game. There are few in house things that get altered from year to year. But if you're sitting in the stands watching it you don't recognize anything differently. We will probably go ones against ones this spring, but that remains to be seen this week."
My Thoughts: Would love to see ones against ones, gives you a chance to really evaluate players better I think. I wonder what goes into the coaches line of thinking making how to do this. I wonder if it's for them to better evaluate players, too.
Will you use this as a big recruiting weekend?
"We do not have official visits coming in, but we have a number of unofficial visits. I've never been a big fan of in-season visitations. We do it, but I hate to see your coaches get divided in two different directions - one is preparation and the other the young people in for a recruiting standpoint, and it probably hampers your ability in both a little bit."
My Thoughts: This pretty much confirms what we have thought all along about perspective on recruiting, good question from Derek Young.
On Dalton Schoen...
"He is such a program guy, so to speak. A great individual. A super youngster. Does everything you ask of him and the way you'd like for it to be. He's a guy coaches love to coach. Whatever you ask him to do you know he's going to do it and the right way. You know it's meaningful to him and you're going to get his best."
My Thoughts: No surprise here, one of the most "Snyder players" on the team and possibly the No. 1 receiver. Although Skylar Thompson told me Duke Shelley covers Isaiah Zuber all the time in practice which leads me to think he may be the No. 1 receiver.
Are you any closer to deciding on a kicker and punter?
"I think we probably are getting close to maybe an upper echelon of guys at those positions, but not ready to name names just yet."
My Thoughts: I'm encouraged that people may be separating themselves. This is about as an encouraging of an answer as a fan could have hoped for here.
On linebacker Eric Gallon...
"I see (Gallon) doing some things that are not necessarily extremely familiar to him, but he does them because he knows they are expected in our program. He's picking up the process. The system is one thing, the process is another. He's picking it up quite well and I think his father had a big impact to him in that respect."
My Thoughts: AKA, he's making progress, but is not close to playing...
At some point, don't you want to have an established No. 1 quarterback?
"You'd like to have an established number one. We have two guys who are going to play, there's no doubt about it. To have a number one is significant. We'd like to. That's truly what we are striving for. Maybe the quarterback is different... but I've seen teams rotate defensive linemen because they all think they're big fat guys who are out of shape - and I'm opposed to that. It's happened to us where we rotate guys series and so on. Now you have two guys that stop competing for a spot because it's automatic for them. I like for it to stay competitive so they know they have to improve and do better than the other individual. If you happen to be a number two, or so on, you want to know that your coaches pay attention to you and they have a chance. If you put guys on the depth chart and leave them down there you get disheartened. We want to keep it competitive all the time."
My Thoughts: Snyder LOVES a quarterback battle. Loves it. He'll manufacture one any chance he gets. Now, of course, this is a 100 percent legit battle, but there's no chance this thing gets settled any time soon.
Are Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson more similar or different?
"I think so (they're more similar than different). If you ask the players I think they'd tell you the same thing. If you watch them, both can run and both can throw. Those things being equal, it boils down to being able to manage the ballgame and process things at the position."
My Thoughts: I may have led him into this answer with my question, but it's how I feel, too. Ultimately K-State will probably run a very similar package with either option.
With Kendall Adams and Denzel Goolsby out, who's playing at safety?
"McPherson is a new young guy in our program getting some reps back there. Neil is a corner by trade, but we've used him some there as well. McGee has taken some reps back there as well. It's kind of a mixed bag right now without the guys we hope to have back (Adams, Goolsby)."
My Thoughts: Notice no Eli Walker was mentioned, not a surprise if you're keeping up on the boards.
On Wyatt Hubert...
"Wyatt makes headway constantly. He's really into it. He really cares about it. He's a guy who gives his very best effort every snap. Guys like that are always going to make some headway, and he continues to do so. A good young guy."
My Thoughts: This is probably THE redshirt freshman to watch.
On reserve/young offensive linemen...
"Right now Josh Rivas is one of those youngsters. Josh has come a long ways and he's put himself in a position to be somewhat of a factor. Aiden Mills has made a lot of progress, and I'm pleased with that. Scott Frantz kind of came out of nowhere in bowl games and played well for us, and the same thing happened last year for Nick (Kaltmayer). We're trying to get him back to where he was in the bowl game. That can be the kiss of death. You can think you've arrived. He's a good youngster and he won't do that, but you still have to be careful."
My Thoughts: K-State's offensive line is going to be much, much deeper this year than last year. The injuries they dealt with forced them to create more depth, and now this group of redshirts becoming available gives this group more talented options to plug in if necessary.
On Hunter Rison...
"He's learning. We see some athletic ability in him. That ability gets tempered a great deal, for anyone, when you aren't certain about what you're doing. Your mind is working overtime thinking and those god given gifts don't show up. He's right there. I'm not going to make any judgement or thoughts about those capabilities until he's got the system processed well and we get the chance to see his true athletic abilities."
My Thoughts: Glad this question was asked. Obviously not a lot to learn yet about Rison, but it's encouraging to hear Snyder praise his athletic ability.