11 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Defensive Walk-Ons

USA TODAY Sports

In which BracketCat counts down the 11th day until kickoff with short profiles of various defensive walk-on players.

Goal No. 11: DON'T ACCEPT LOSING. If you do so one time, it will be easy to do so for the rest of your life.

ZachBefort

#96 Zach Befort
True Freshman
6-3 | 265
Wichita, Kan.

Bio

Position: Defensive Tackle

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Walk-On

Zach Befort played defensive tackle at Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita.

RandyFriesen

#73 Randy Friesen
True Freshman
6-8 | 229
Meade, Kan.

Bio

Position: Defensive End

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Preferred Walk-On

Randy Friesen is a preferred walk-on defensive end from Meade who was a 2012 first-team All-State 1A pick at defensive end by VarsityKansas.com. He was named to the all-district and all-league first teams as a senior.

An honorable mention selection at defensive end by The Topeka Capital-Journal as a senior, Friesen led the Buffaloes to a 2-1A state championship in 2010 and 2012, as well as three-straight league titles from 2010 to 2012.

Friesen also was an honorable mention 2-1A player at defensive end and tight end as a junior. Given his height, he might be a candidate to be moved to tight end or even offensive line. Watch his highlights here.

He was a standout for the Meade basketball team, who was named a first-team all-league and All-Southwestern Kansas pick as a junior, and an all-state second-team performer in 2012, when Meade was 2A State runner-up.

TrentTanking

#58 Trent Tanking
True Freshman
6-2 | 220
Holton, Kan.

Bio

Position: Linebacker

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Preferred Walk-On

Trent Tanking is a preferred walk-on linebacker from Holton High School, coached by K-State alum Brooks Barta.

Tanking was named Kansas 4A Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to The Topeka Capital-Journal and VarsityKansas.com 2012 Top 11 teams, after he led Holton to the 2012 4A state championship.

He was an All-4A first-team performer at linebacker by VarsityKansas.com and the Capital-Journal as a senior.

Tanking was chosen to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl, in which he was named MVP of the winning East squad after collecting 16 tackles (the next highest was nine), 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

He also was named an all-league performer at linebacker as a sophomore, junior and senior, and was an honorable mention All-4A pick at linebacker in 2010 and 2011.

A three-time all-county selection at linebacker, Tanking helped Holton to three consecutive league titles. He also was a three-year letterman for his basketball team, and an all-league and all-county pick at guard as a junior.

Sounds like we got a really good one. Any time we can land a nice Kansas prospect without expending a scholarship offer, we've done well. You can watch Tanking's highlights here.

BlakeBaird

#56 Blake Baird
True Freshman
6-1 | 225
Silver Lake, Kan.

Bio

Position: Linebacker

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Preferred Walk-On

Blake Baird is a preferred walk-on linebacker from Silver Lake who obviously shares a hometown with Lon Kruger.

Baird was the Kansas 3A Defensive Player of the Year, a Class 3A all-state pick by VarsityKansas.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal, and an all-league selection at linebacker as a senior. Watch his highlights here.

He helped Silver Lake to back-to-back 3A state title game appearances in 2011 and 2012, and was a member of the 2010 3A state championship team, as well as Eagles teams that won four straight league and district titles.

Baird recorded 273 tackles and 15 sacks during his prep career. He was a two-year letterman in football and a three-year letterman in baseball. Sounds like we convinced another good one to walk on for us and provide depth.

KadeTrue

#55 Kade True
True Freshman
6-3 | 230
Salina, Kan.

Bio

Position: Linebacker

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Walk-On

Kade True played linebacker at Central High School in Salina.

KipKeeley

#49 Kip Keeley
True Freshman
6-2 | 205
LaCrosse, Kan.

Bio

Position: Linebacker

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Preferred Walk-On

Kip Keeley is a preferred walk-on linebacker from LaCrosse who was named to the 2012 All-Class Top 11 third team by The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Hays Daily News Super 11 team.

An All-State selection at linebacker by VarsityKansas.com and the Capital-Journal, Keeley also was tabbed as the 2-1A Defensive Player of the Year and selected to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl.

He led LaCrosse to back-to-back state runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2012, was a three-time all-district and all-league linebacker, and was named to the all-league second team at linebacker as a freshman in 2009.

Keeley lettered three years in two other sports. On the hardwood, he was named to the All-State second team as a junior in 2012. The defending Kansas 2A State champion in the javelin set a school-record with a throw of 191-2.

LoganThompson

#36 Logan Thompson
True Freshman
6-3 | 225
Sedgwick, Kan.

Bio

Position: Linebacker

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Preferred Walk-On

Logan Thompson is a preferred walk-on linebacker from the small community of Sedgwick (which, ironically enough, is located just across the county line in Harvey County) who played in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl.

A four-year letterman who was named to VarsityKansas.com’s All-State 4A first team at linebacker in 2012, Thompson helped the Cardinals to back-to-back league, district and bi-district championships.

He recorded more than 2,900 total yards and 36 total touchdowns in 12 games as a senior, and was a first-team all-league linebacker as a junior and senior. You can watch his highlights here.

Thompson also was named an All-State honorable mention linebacker and quarterback as a junior. He was a back-to-back all-league selection in baseball and a 2012 all-league first-team pick in basketball as a junior.

ChancePitcock

#28 Chance Pitcock
True Freshman
5-9 | 165
Russell, Kan.

Bio

Position: Defensive Back

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Walk-On

Chance Pitcock played defensive back at Russell High School.

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