For those of you who decided to read this post and thought, "the only reason he's featured here is because his older brother nearly won the Heisman," well, yeah, you'd be right. But I'd argue that's more than enough reason to believe Kyle Klein could surprise some people this season.
First of all, that really wouldn't take all that much. The former defensive end, then tight end, sits behind probably somewhere between fourth and sixth on the depth chart for wide receivers heading into the season.
Still, there's some reason beyond his lineage to believe Kyle could work his way into a starting role and even become a dangerous threat in a passing game said to be more versatile this year with Daniel Sams or Jake Waters throwing the football. That would be quite wonderful if it happened and K-State could take a little pressure off the very strong and capable shoulders of John Hubert.
Coaches had some good things to say about Klein towards the end of last season, and Collin said his brother has become one of the fastest players on the roster, for what that's worth. Certainly, it would seem only logical that after slimming down to 205 and learning his new position he'd show significant improvement as a wideout.
You can bet Kyle didn't have a whole lot of trouble picking up the playbook, considering his brother's football IQ and the fact that Kyle is seeking a major in Industrial Engineering. Plus, he's certainly got the height to be a standout receiver, at 6-foot-4.
Overall, he's got a lot of things working in his favor, and no one needs to tell K-State fans about how talent runs in the family, especially among wide receivers. If he has half the competitiveness and heart of his older brother, he should be just fine, if not this year then certainly in the next two.
Even though he saw the field occasionally as a redshirt freshman, the biggest thing holding Klein back is likely game experience and a proven ability to catch the football, which isn't lacking for the Wildcats' receiving corps. But if he can make a big play or two early in the season to turn some heads, the opportunity would seem to be there to move up the depth chart — at least to third behind Tramaine Thompson and Tyler Lockett — rather quickly.
It's just a shame there isn't another Klein around to complete the trifecta.
Previously in this series: