Whoever said Bill Snyder is too old school? Surrounded by reporters at the Big 12 Media Days in Irving, Texas, earlier this week, the Kansas State head coach garnered some chuckles when he proudly displayed his BlackBerry to onlookers curious about the 69-year-old's grip on the digital age. Although Snyder can punch cell phone keys like an 18-year-old, a certain compromise still accompanies his technological embrace.
Apparently, ink-jet printers are working overtime in the Vanier Football Complex.
"I'm a hard copy guy," Snyder admitted. "Give it to me so I can file it because I keep losing stuff. Here, I've got all of this stuff. I get like 250 e-mails a day but I can lose some of them. If I don't have the hard copy and want to refer to something and don't have it …"
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Earlier, Snyder recalled the usual practice by which he finds, and ultimately prints off, information.
"You know, I get up every morning and get this BlackBerry thing out, and it's got all of the recruiting services and they each have a long story on every youngster that is above the age of four in the nation," he said. "(The story) tells you what he had for breakfast and what position he plays and who's recruiting him, and so on."
Turns out Snyder's dedication to hoarding printouts paid off recently when a technological snafu left K-State computers virtually paralyzed.
"The (network) system in the athletic department went down just the other day," he said. "Everything on file got lost and I don't know if we've got everything back yet right now or not. I know some of our guys lost their address book and consequently you've got all of your recruits' phone numbers in there and that took an awfully long time to enter."
But back to the BlackBerry for a moment. Snyder, the king of sending notes, seemed almost giddy in recalling his introduction to his new gadget.
"I can get on here, I can text," he said. "I tell you what, I took the job in November. On Christmas Day, I mass e-mailed every parent in our program, 'Merry Christmas.' I sent to every one of our players, 'Merry Christmas.' Then the day after Christmas, I e-mailed every one of our faculty members and every one of our students. It's a mass thing and somebody taught me how to do that. I thought it was pretty good."
"We might lose 100 ballgames, but I at least had gotten all of that information out there."
Players welcome return of the straight-bar bench press
No, it's not a typo.
Sophomore free safety Tysyn Hartman and sophomore defensive end Brandon Harold didn't attend the Big 12 Media Days. Both were likely camped in the weight room, where the players seemingly have never appreciated change more.
"Even just simple things like bench press is good," Hartman told GoPowercat.com last week. "I mean, we weren't doing a simple bench press before. (Under Ron Prince) we were doing a dumbbell bench press. Guys, they want to bench press. That's a guy's favorite lift. Anywhere you go in the country, even if you talk to regular guys that go and lift at the rec center, the first thing anybody asks is, 'How much do you bench?'
"That's something guys got excited about when we brought that back in."
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Harold, a freshman All-American last season, said, "Last year we didn't do any of it, so we're just getting back into it."
"I trusted what the coaches told us and really didn't think too much about it and just did what they were asking," he continued. "I'm excited to have it back. I'm starting to feel a lot stronger."
Harold reported that junior Xzavier Stewart, a 6-foot-1, 305-pound defensive tackle, recently bench-pressed 515 pounds -- and it wasn't even a "max-out" day. Harold said he only bench-pressed 355 pounds because he was drained from a previous workout and "stopped because it was a little stressful."
"Xzavier is one guy that works out on his own, so he's always benching," Harold said. "We've got a lot of guys that have put up 450 and up. It's a lot better. I'm not even sure about specific numbers (of players that bench-pressed) 400, but I know a bunch of guys, way more than half (on the defensive line) did that. It's looking good. Everything is going in a positive direction."
Mastrud receives motivation for Mackey Award
Senior Jeron Mastrud was one of 30 tight ends named to the initial 2009 John Mackey Award watch list. The award is given annually to the best collegiate tight end. Mastrud, one of five Big 12 tight ends on the watch list, received added motivation to follow in the steps of Chase Coffman, who won the award as a senior at Missouri last season. Chase is the older brother of K-State junior quarterback Carson Coffman.
"It's a good honor," Mastrud said. "Carson sent me a picture of the trophy his brother received. He said that it needed to be in my hands this year. I'm going to do what I can to play well this year."