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18 DAYS TO 2022 KICKOFF: Thomas Helten

In which BracketCat counts down the 18th day until the 2022 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State linebacker Thomas Helten.

#18 Bryan Hickman
Walk-on wide receiver Thomas Helten made a significant offseason position change, moving to linebacker and adopting the No. 18 jersey in a move that may bring back memories of the late, great Bryan Hickman (18) if Helten sees the field.
Photo by Brian Bahr/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.

#18 Thomas Helten

Redshirt Senior | 6-3 | 225 lbs. | Garden Plain, Kansas
Thomas Helten
Thomas Helten
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Scout Team
  • Status: Preferred Walk-On

Thomas Michael Helten (b. May 29, 2000) was a preferred walk-on wide receiver from Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita who is majoring in construction science and management. He converted to linebacker during the offseason following the Texas Bowl.

Helten prepped for the Golden Eagles under coaches Alan Schuckman and Dusty Trail.

He totaled 1,044 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior en route to first team all-state honors from The Wichita Eagle, also earning all-city accolades as a junior and senior.

Helten helped Bishop Carroll to earn a 13-1 record and a state championship as a senior.

He redshirted in 2018 and then saw action as a Wildcat in a pair of games in 2019, playing as a reserve wide receiver against Nicholls and Bowling Green, and earning first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors following the season.

Helten did not see any game action in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, however.

In 2021, he played on kickoff coverage in K-State’s Texas Bowl win over LSU, perhaps prompting his offseason switch to the defensive side of the ball entering 2022.