Jahron McPherson announced via twitter that he plans on returning to K-State for the 2021 season.
McPherson, a 6’1, 200 defensive back with the ability to play multiple positions, is a key cog in the Wildcat secondary. He recorded a team high 54 tackles in 2020. He also picked off 2 passes (tied for team lead), made 3.5 tackles for loss, defended 3 passes, and forced a fumble. For his career he has 109 tackles, and 4 interceptions.
What it Means for the Wildcats
After a rocky (to say the least) 2020 in terms of retaining players, keeping McPherson around for an extra year is an incredible addition to the 2021 roster. Throw in a returning Bronson Massie (more on him later) and a defense in need of veteran leadership picks up the best two leaders available for Kansas State defense.
On the field, McPherson’s ability to play both the safety positions and slot corner makes him an incredibly valuable asset. Consider him duct tape of the secondary. When there is a problem, he can usually fix it. Having him on board also solidifies the depth chart for the spring (more on that coming up as well). If everyone can stay healthy, the Wildcats should be able to work with a cohesive unit in camp after essentially throwing whoever was available onto the field and hoping for the best in 2020.
The ability for the secondary to practice as a unit should help with every aspect of the defense in the upcoming season. I expect to see more aggressive and complex coverage schemes in 2021 after the staff was forced to keep it as basic as possible in 2020 because of the endless rotation of players.
This eliminates this need for a graduate transfer at safety as, in essence, the Kansas State coaching staff picked up the most valuable one year piece for the secondary they could find.