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Kansas State Football: Enter Timmy Horne

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Drew takes a look at the big man on defense.

Timmy Horne (98) Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

This article will catch me up on all the current transfer additions, and it’s a big addition...literally. Timmy Horne joins the Kansas State Wildcats as a graduate transfer after spending the previous five seasons at the University of Charlotte.

Horne was a 2*, 6’4”, 280 pound defensive tackle out of Anson High School in Wadesboro, North Carolina coming out of high school. He must have used the training table and weight room to his advantage at Charlotte, because he’s coming to Manhattan as a 6’5, 320 defense tackle, and he doesn’t look chubby. He’s a “first guy off the bus” type player.

What He Brings to the Table

I feel like I’m pointing out the obvious, but Horne is a giant. When you don’t need to follow a number when you look at tape, because one guy is bigger than everyone else on the field, it’s a usually a good sign. It’s impossible to miss Timmy on the field.

Beyond his imposing size, Horne brings experience to a unit in desperate need of seasoning. He started 12 games in 2019, 12 games in 2019, and three out of six games in 2020. He’s been through the college football battles and that’s not something you can say about many defensive tackles at K-State for the 2021 season.

He’s a player that has to be dealt with in the run game, because if you don’t move him with a double team, he’s not going anywhere. His best attribute is his ability to hold the line of scrimmage and eat up the center and guard in the process. He’s not the most explosive athlete, but he doesn’t have to be in K-State’s system because he’ll have a smaller, more explosive defensive tackle lined up next to him looking to go one-on-one with a guard as Horne occupies the other two interior offensive linemen. It’s a thankless, but important job, that stands out in the film room more than on the box score.

That’s not to say Horne is a stiff. In 2019 he registered 41 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and half a sack. In the last full K-State season (also 2019) 41 tackles would give him the third most tackles on the team behind Eli Sullivan and Denzel Goolsby. His 6.5 tackles for loss would put him second, behind Wyatt Hubert’s 12.5, in the category. If he gets his giant mitts on a ball carrier or a quarterback, it’s all over.

What It Means for K-State

This was a position of need for the Wildcats coming into the offseason, and even with the addition of Horne, it’s still an area of need.

Horne will coming into the squad and immediately compete for a starting spot with Jaylen Pickle for the starting nose tackle position next to Eli Huggins. I expect to see him on the field, especially against run dominant teams.

Ideally, you want a five defensive tackle rotation, and the Wildcats didn’t come close to that because of injuries and Covid last season. When you see a defense getting gashed between the tackles in the 4th quarter, it usually means the defensive tackles are toast. When you rotate defensive tackles, ideally you want to sub out two for two. The inner workings of the defensive line are more complicated that they appear on television, between slants, stunts, and twists and it’s nice to have two guys that regularly play next to each other on the field at the same time. Adding Horne to the roster allows the coaching staff that luxury, and gives them some breathing room when the injury bug inevitably bites Kansas State in the hind quarters.

This is a one year rental, and gives the coaching staff a chance to get Pickle another year of experience before having to start. I like Pickle’s talent, but he’s still raw. Another year in the program without having to carry the load at defensive tackle should help his development. This is another example of the coaching staff using the transfer portal to give guys further down the roster the time they need to develop. Coaching is all about putting players in a place where they can succeed, and putting a guy on the field before they are ready, more often than not, results in failure.

What’s Next?

I wouldn’t be surprised to see K-State make a late run at a grad transfer defensive tackle, unless they are certain that Brayden Wood can come in and make an immediate impact.

*Note:

If you read this article before 4:00, you got a version that included an alternate reality where Drew Wiley had yet to announce he was leaving. Sadly, I’ve warped back into the current timeline where Wiley is off to seek his corporate fortunes, and changed up the article to reflect my new reality.