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81 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Kyle Klein

In which BracketCat counts down the 81st day until kickoff with a profile of wide receiver Kyle Klein.

If all goes well, 2015 should be a major feel-good comeback season for Kyle Klein. Let's hope he finishes strong.
If all goes well, 2015 should be a major feel-good comeback season for Kyle Klein. Let's hope he finishes strong.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

#81 Kyle Klein
Redshirt Senior
6-4 | 210
Loveland, Colo.


Position: Wide Receiver

Previous College: None

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

The only remaining Klein on the Kansas State roster, Kyle Edward Klein (b. Oct. 25, 1991), has experienced quite a bit during his college career. With any luck, 2015 finally can be his breakthrough season as a star wide receiver.

A tough player who switched from defensive end to wide receiver prior to his redshirt freshman season, Klein will continue to be a part of the rotation at wide receiver while contributing on special teams.

The younger brother of legendary K-State quarterback Collin Klein grayshirted in 2010, arriving as a defensive end; converted to tight end before the 2011 season even had started; redshirted and then...

...just prior to Cotton Bowl prep, the coaches asked him to change positions again, so now he's a wide receiver.

Very few players endure two position changes in less than a year, especially when they've never actually played a down. But Kyle acquitted himself well in 2012 spring practice and reviews of his abilities were glowing.

That didn't translate into playing time in the fall, though. Lodged deep in a stacked wide receiver corps, Kyle proved unable to beat out Torell Miller for playing time as the "blocking" receiver behind Chris Harper.

However, in 2013, Kyle saw action in nine games, including starts against Oklahoma State, Baylor and Iowa State.

He caught five passes for 59 yards, more than half of which came against the Cowboys when he hauled in three passes for 34 yards. He also caught a season-long 13-yard pass against the Bears and a 12-yarder against TCU.

Klein was on track to be a huge part of the 2014 offense when he suffered a devastating back injury in August prior to the start of the season. For a month, he was bed-ridden in agony. He missed the entire season with that injury.

For months, Klein battled just to be able to walk again. By the time Alamo Bowl prep came around, he was just beginning to be able to catch a football again. You can read more about his painstaking and difficult recovery here.

Given all that, you'd think there were long odds for Klein, who was denied a medical hardship and sixth season of eligibility, ever to play again meaningfully. You'd be wrong. From all reports, he's by far the best wideout on this team.

A three-year letter-winner at Loveland High School under head coach John Poovey, Kyle was a first-team All-Colorado 4A selection at safety by The Denver Post as a senior and a first-team Academic All-State performer.

He caught 47 passes for 853 yards and 13 touchdowns during his senior campaign, while he collected 113 tackles and five picks on defense. Kyle also earned all-conference honors at tight end and at quarterback as a junior.

The overall picture at wide receiver in 2015 is somewhat bleak, but if there's one bright spot, it's this young man.