The next name at the top of Chris Klieman’s 2021 wish list is now on the board for the Kansas State Wildcats after Andrew Leingang, a 6’5” 270lb lineman out of Bismark, ND pledged his services to the Wildcats Sunday afternoon.
Drew dropped a profile of Mr. Leingang a couple of weeks ago, so I suggest you go check that out for a more in-depth look at the newest Wildcat. But it’s safe to say that this was a big, big win for the Wildcats in several ways.
First up, the Wildcats, led by line coach Conor Riley, were able to land the talented lineman after fending off strong pushes from Stanford, Minnesota, and North Dakota State. The Wildcats have lost a few coveted recruits to PJ Fleck and the Gophers the last couple of cycles, so winning straight-up here is a huge morale boost for fans, and shows the staff is starting to make big progress against their peers.
Second, the Wildcats add a big kid that is currently a bit of a ‘tweener, in that he could play as either a tackle or a guard. For example, 247Sports lists his as a 3-star tackle, while Rivals has him as a 3-star guard — either way, the people who cover recruiting think he’s going to be a solid player. This fits where Riley is headed with the K-State o-line, molding a group that is versatile and long, guys that have the frame and skills and just need to add good weight (without trying to take off bad weight) and spend a season or two growing and maturing in the weight room.
Finally, this puts K-State at 15 commits (so far) for the 2021 class, which is only one behind where they were at this time last year, and that was without the benefit of the spring and summer recruiting periods, and all the on-campus visits and camps that would have occurred and gotten these prospects a better feel for Manhattan and K-State. Now, to be fair, Leingang visited Manhattan last fall as a junior, but it would still have been easier to land him had he gotten to visit again this summer.
Also, don’t expect the recruiting scene to cool off any time soon, as pay-walled reports from both 247Sports and Rivals seem pretty optimistic that the Wildcats could be adding a few more to the 2021 class sooner rather than later.