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71 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Dalton Risner

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In which BracketCat counts down the 71st day until kickoff with a profile of offensive lineman Dalton Risner.

Looking for a replacement for departed senior B.J. Finney, one of K-State's all-time best centers and now a Pittsburgh Steeler? Look no further than redshirt freshman Dalton Risner.
Looking for a replacement for departed senior B.J. Finney, one of K-State's all-time best centers and now a Pittsburgh Steeler? Look no further than redshirt freshman Dalton Risner.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
DaltonRisner

#71 Dalton Risner
Redshirt Freshman
6-4 | 302
Wiggins, Colo.

Bio

Position: Offensive Line

Previous College: None

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Dalton William Risner (b. July 13, 1995) is a hard-nosed player who redshirted during the 2014 season and will compete for playing time as a redshirt freshman. In fact, I think he will be our new starting center.

The coaches' plan, in my opinion and based on available evidence, was for him to redshirt last year as B.J. Finney's understudy, then step into Finney's shoes this year as his heir-apparent. Assuming he holds off Reid Najvar, he will.

Along with the famed Blue Springs High School trio of Elijah Lee, Kaleb Prewett and Dalvin Warmack, Risner was one of Kansas State's best recruiters in the 2014 recruiting cycle.

He committed in March 2013, shortly after Warmack became our first recruit in the class. And from that point on, Risner was tireless in tweeting other targets and urging them to pick K-State through social media.

In particular, Alec Ruth credited his eventual decision to become a Wildcat to Risner's relentless hounding. And no wonder: K-State is Risner's dream school and his all-consuming passion, he told GoPowercat.com:

No other place made me happy. I saw myself having a career there and its always been a dream school for me. I didn't see any sense wasting any more time.

Risner — who also held offers from Arizona State, Colorado State, Missouri, New Mexico State, Tulsa and Wyoming — is nothing if not intensely loyal to his intended alma mater:

"Now that I'm committed so early, I can start building my relationship with the coaches even more," he said. "I feel that I can get ahead on other commits that may not decide until later because my bond will be stronger.

"I'm stopping all communication outside of Kansas State and won't be taking any more visits. I wanted to show Kansas State that I'm all into them and I have no interest in any other university."

It probably didn't hurt that K-State felt pretty much the same way about him, though:

"Coach Snyder told me that I was the number-one lineman on their chart, and they really wanted and needed me," Risner said. "Some of the things that I experienced at Junior Day were incredible, but most importantly the way the coaches treated me. They put me on a chariot, and made me feel valued and desired." ...

Risner played for the Wiggins High School Tigers under his father and head coach, Mitch Risner. Coaches' sons usually tend to develop into heady players who can gain command of Bill Snyder's offensive alignments.

He was named one of The Denver Post's top 25 players in the state during the 2013 season and was an all-state selection by the organization in 2012. Risner also was named an all-state player by Root Sports in 2012 and 2013.

Risner was rated the nation's sixth-best center and the fifth-best player in the state by Rivals.com, while he was the nation's seventh-best center, according to ESPN.

He was selected to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in January in Orlando, and the U-19 International Bowl between Team USA and Canada Football on Feb. 7 in Arlington, Texas.

Risner also placed fifth in the state in shot put in 2012 and participated in basketball.