Let’s play a quick game of “tell me what’s wrong with this picture.” After last week’s induction ceremony, K-State football’s Ring of Honor includes 20 former players. Here are the positions they played:
Running Back: 4
Wide Receivers: 2
Defensive Backs: 3
Defensive Linemen: 1
*Bill Snyder was such an innovator that he not only revolutionized offensive football at Iowa in the 1980s, but foreshadowed the punt-to-win strategy recently popularized in Iowa City.
Given this list, one could be forgiven for thinking K-State plays seven-on-seven football.
Somehow, a program that rose from Futility U to a consistent winner, occasional contender, and two-time Big 12 champion doesn’t have a single player from the most-important position group in its Ring of Honor. Presumably, our opponents were simply kind enough not to play any defensive linemen against us so that players like Ell Roberson could complete passes unbothered by pass rushers and running backs like David Allen could gallivant downfield for big gains.
The Ring of Honor is cheapened by not including any of the great offensive linemen who have played in Manhattan. I assure you, Nick Leckey, Ryan Lilja and Jeromey Clary played as big a part in K-State winning its first conference title in almost 70 years as Roberson and Darren Sproles did. Other great linemen, like Quentin Neujahr, B.J. Finney and Cody Whitehair – and probably others – deserve consideration as well.
Leckey in particular should have gone into the Ring of Honor years ago. As the center for the 2003 team, he made the line calls and directed traffic for the team that bulldozed Oklahoma in Kansas City. He was a first-team All American. He was twice first-team all-Big 12. A finalist for the Rimington Trophy. And if that weren’t enough, he played six years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints. By any standard, he’s one of the greatest players ever at K-State.
Enough is enough. Put Nick Leckey in the Ring of Honor. Now.