Hey y’all (I thought I’d throw in my southern accent since I have recently returned from my parents house in South Carolina and am currently in quarantine), I’m back and ready to talk some recruiting. I’ll be keeping my eye on 2021, and providing updates when something happens, but for now, I’ll be turning a good bit of my attention to the 2022 recruiting class.
I know, I know...believe me...I know. 2022 sounds like a randomly selected year for a 90’s science fiction movie, and at this point, nobody has any idea what 2022 is going to look like, but I’m fairly confident it’s going to be a thing, so let’s talk some football recruiting.
First off, the Wildcats (in theory) lose a good bit of talent off the 2021 squad and that will need to be replenished, numbers wise, with the 2022 class.
2021 Seniors By Position
Players Out: 1
This is always going to be a one out, one in recruiting for K-State unless there are a spate of transfers, which, could potentially happen if Jake Rubely comes in and wins the starting job as a true freshman. We’ll leave that trouble for another day though.
Players In: 1
Players Out: 0
Kansas State isn’t slated to lose any running backs off the 2021 squad. I will add the caveat, that much like quarterback, there is the potential for a few defections at this position. The coaching staff took four at the position in 2019, and that’s some serious competition in the same class.
Right now, it’s zero players out, but I wouldn’t be shocked if ends up being one or two. Regardless, I still see this being at least a one running back class. This, in theory, should be one of the prime positions in the offense and could potentially attract some highly ranked prospects.
Players In: 1
Players Out: 2
At some point, I’m going to start separating the wide receiver positions because while Taylor and Weber both technically play wide receiver, they have vastly different jobs.
Taylor is an outside the numbers, boundary guy who can go up and fight for 50/50 balls and use his big frame to screen out smaller defensive backs on back shoulder throws.
Weber is a small, quick slot receiver that finds holes in the underneath zones and runs option routes.
I see this as a 2-3 wide receiver class when all is said and done. It doesn’t have to be a one for one boundary receiver and slot receiver wide receiver class, but I anticipate the staff leaning in that direction.
Players In: 2-3
Players Out: 2
I lumped these positions together, because they tend to be interchangeable in the current K-State offense. Lenners was a revelation at fullback last season, earning First Team All-Big 12 honors as a fullback. He also lined up at tight end, depending on what the formation dictated.
Barta came to Manhattan as an inside linebacker, but has transitioned to fullback. He started four games last season, and played in all 13. Lenners is more of a dual threat tight end/fullback, who catches the ball. Barta is an old school, meet you in the hole and put you on your back fullback.
This is where the staff can fudge the numbers a little. They lose two but don’t have to replace two because the Barta role could go to another player on the roster looking for a spot to contribute. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lenners spot was filled by a true pass catching tight end, instead of an H-back type like Lenners.
Players In: 1-2
Players Out: 5
Losing five linemen at the same time seems bad, but it also means you’re keeping classes together (and supplementing them with JuCo guys like Delforge when you lose one).
Josh Rivas is the biggest loss, but all of these guys will get a shot to play over the next 2 seasons. 2022 is a long way off, but I like where Kansas State is positioned in terms of offensive linemen recruiting. Coach Riley is an up and coming star, and playing in a system where you get to go out and hit people, instead of getting beat up in pass protection every down should be a selling point.
I’m a big proponent of always taking five linemen in a recruiting class because it’s one of the hardest positions to evaluate.
Players In: 5
Honestly, I have no idea how anything is going to shake out with college, high school, or junior college football. It feels strange to write about 2022 when I have no idea what’s going to happen in 2021 and how it may effect college football moving forward.
I’m going to forge ahead with recruiting and try and adjust on the fly. It’s an exciting time to cover Kansas State football recruiting, and I truly believe the Wildcats are a program on the come-up.
2022 could be one of the better years in the history of Kansas State recruiting if this staff can string together back to back winning seasons.
I’ll do my best to keep you up to speed.