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.
#51 Shadryon Blanka
True Freshman | 6-1 | 213 lbs. | St. Francis, Kansas
- Position: Linebacker
- Previous College: None
- Projection: Redshirt
- Status: Walk-On
Shadryon “Shady” Blanka (b. Feb. 23, 2003) is a walk-on linebacker from St. Francis Community High School in the town of the same name who is likely to redshirt during 2022.
Blanka, who plans on majoring in animal nutrition, played under head coach Nick Fawcett at St. Francis, where he totaled 272 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks over his three-year varsity career. He nearly hit the 100-tackle mark as a junior with 98 stops to help the Indians to earn a trip to the state finals. (Learn more about his 8-man career in this article.)
Blanka was named the 2020 8-Man Division II Offensive Player of the Year as a senior by both The Wichita Eagle and Sports in Kansas after rushing for 2,280 yards and 35 touchdowns. He was the leading rusher in Kansas and No. 2 nationally at the 8-man level.
A first-team all-state performer and rated one of the top 33 players in the state of Kansas in 2020 by The Topeka Capital-Journal, Blanka also was named a first-team all-state performer at running back as both a junior and senior by The Wichita Eagle, while the publication also voted him an all-state honoree at linebacker as a senior.
He rushed for 1,694 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior, ranking second in the state and 34th nationally in rushing at the 8-man level, and also competed in wrestling, finishing third in the 2020 state meet, as well as track and field.
Blanka is the son of Shawn and Shawna Blanka, both of whom also attended Kansas State.