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1 DAY TO 2021 KICKOFF: Keenan Garber

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In which BracketCat counts down the final day before the 2021 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State wide receiver Keenan Garber.

#1 Keenan Garber
Aw, the sweet sight of Lawrence native Keenan Garber (1) running away from the weak tackle of a KU football player... After seeing playing time in six games during 2020, Garber looks for increased snaps in 2021 after breaking into the depth chart.
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

Goal No. 1: COMMITMENT. To common goals and to being successful.

#1 Keenan Garber

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-0 | 167 lbs. | Lawrence, Kansas
Keenan Garber
Keenan Garber
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Second-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Keenan Jae Garber (b. July 22, 2000) is a very promising young wide receiver who brings speed, but also a little height, to the position. He is majoring in social sciences.

Garber played in one game in 2019 — seeing action against his “hometown university,” Kansas — as he preserved his redshirt. He then saw playing time in six games in 2020, including three of the final four contests of the pandemic-shortened season.

Last season, Garber had receptions in two games, including a 9-yard catch against Kansas.

He also had a 4-yard rush on a jet sweep against Oklahoma State, finished as a second-team Academic All-Big 12 performer and is projected as a backup on the 2021 depth chart.

A three-year letter-winner for Free State High School in Lawrence under coach Bob Lisher, Garber helped the Firebirds to earn a 10-1 record and league championship each season.

He was named an ESPN 300 recruit, the 23rd-best athlete in the nation and the third-best player in the state of Kansas in the Class of 2019 by ESPN, while Rivals and 247Sports each ranked him as the fourth-best player in the state.

Garber was named a first-team all-state performer by The Topeka Capital-Journal, The Wichita Eagle and Kansas Football Coaches Association in 2018, and also was named to the USA TODAY Sports/American Family Insurance All-USA Kansas team as a defensive back.

USA Today described Garber as a “Swiss Army knife player — play him anywhere on offense, just get him the ball” and accurately indicated he would play early due to his athleticism.

He earned honorable mention accolades from The Wichita Eagle in 2017 and was a 2018 Otis Taylor Award finalist as the most outstanding wide receiver in the Kansas City area.

Garber also was named a 2018 first-team All-Simone performer as one of the top prep players in the Kansas City area after he carded 814 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior, while also recording four interceptions, including two he returned for touchdowns.

He was selected to play in the 2019 Kansas Shrine Bowl and was a high school teammate of current Kansas State fullback Jax Dineen, who did not redshirt in 2019.

Garber selected K-State over offers from Illinois State, Indiana State, Kansas, Missouri State, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Tulane, Western Illinois and Wyoming, plus interest from Wisconsin.

His primary recruiter was former offensive coordinator Andre Coleman.

Ironically, much of K-State’s current coaching staff came to Manhattan from North Dakota State and Wyoming, two schools Garber also was considering.