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71 DAYS TO 2018 KICKOFF: Dalton Risner

In which BracketCat counts down the 71st day until the 2018 kickoff with a profile of offensive lineman Dalton Risner.

#71 Dalton Risner
Despite an injury that kept him out of the 2017 Cactus Bowl and 2018 spring game, Dalton Risner (71) had yet another stellar season and is on track to return for a memorable senior encore, before what hopefully will be a long and productive NFL career.
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

#71 Dalton Risner

Redshirt Senior | 6-5 | 300 lbs. | Wiggins, Colorado
Dalton Risner
Dalton Risner
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Offensive Line
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Dalton William Risner (b. July 13, 1995) is a hard-nosed offensive lineman who redshirted in 2014 and started every game at center in 2015 before switching to right tackle in 2016.

A two-time team captain who has started 38 career games, including each of his last 25 at right tackle, he will continue to lead the line and lock down the right tackle spot while helping lead the entire offense.

Strangely enough, Risner has not participated in any of the last three spring games due to minor injuries, and he also had to miss the 2017 Cactus Bowl against UCLA for the same reason. But all accounts are that he is on track to be able to play this fall, with no issues.

A 13-game starter at center who earned first-team Freshman All-American honors from Campus Insiders, plus second-team honors from Athlon and Scout, Risner helped K-State to rank second nationally in red-zone offense (94.5 percent) and 18th in passing yards per completion (14.12) in 2015.

He also helped the Wildcats to rush for 29 touchdowns, which was just one shy of entering the school’s top-10 list.

Risner blocked for six rushing touchdowns against TCU, tied for the fourth-most in school history. He also picked up second-team Academic All-Big 12 accolades.

For an encore in 2016, Risner switched to right tackle and started all 13 games, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches and second-team accolades from the Associated Press.

He helped to lead an offensive line that paved the way for a school-record 5.27-yard-per-carry average, while they ranked third in school history in total rushing yards (3,013) and rushing yards per game (231.8), and seventh in rushing touchdowns (39).

Risner also helped the Wildcats to rank sixth nationally in rushing touchdowns.

He was named to ESPN.com’s All-Big 12 Underclassmen team after being a preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy, prior to switching to right tackle, and finished as a first-team Academic All-Big 12 performer.

Risner again started all 12 regular-season games at right tackle in 2017 as he was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus and earned second-team honors from CBSSports.com.

He also picked up first-team All-Big 12 accolades from the league’s coaches, the Associated Press and Phil Steele, and graded out at a 90.3 mark during the regular season, according to Pro Football Focus, including a 98.9 mark on pass-blocking efficiency to tie for fourth highest among Football Bowl Subdivision tackles.

Risner allowed only three quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, which was the fewest among 2018 draft-eligible tackles.

He led the Wildcats to a tie for third place in school history in rushing yards per carry (4.98), while they finished seventh in program history with 2,584 total rushing yards.

A two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 performer who also was a member of the American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team, Risner enters this season as a member of the preseason watch lists for both the Outland Trophy and Wuerffel Trophy, as well as a preseason All-American by Athlon Sports.

Along with famed Blue Springs High School trio members Elijah Lee 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 the 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, setting a precedent others since have emulated.

Risner played for Wiggins High School under his father and head coach, Mitch Risner.

He was named one of The Denver Post’s top 25 players in Colorado 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.

He was rated the nation’s sixth-best center and fifth-best player in the state by Rivals.com, while he was ESPN’s seventh-best center in the nation. He also placed fifth in the state in shot put in 2012 and participated in basketball.

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