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31 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: DJ Giddens

In which BracketCat counts down the 31st day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State running back DJ Giddens.

#31 DJ Giddens
Backup running back DJ Giddens (31) quietly had a very good season in 2022 with 5.82 yards per carry on just 89 carries in Deuce Vaughn’s shadow. Yet he still seems to be flying under the national radar as the 2023 season approaches...
Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#31 DJ Giddens

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-1 | 212 lbs. | Junction City, Kansas
DJ Giddens
DJ Giddens
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Running Back
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Co-Starter
  • Status: Preferred Walk-On

DJ Giddens (b. Aug. 26, 2003) is a preferred walk-on running back from Junction City High School who is majoring in business administration and comes up an impressive debut year.

Giddens, who redshirted and did not play in 2021, saw action in every game during the Big 12 Championship season as Deuce Vaughn’s primary backup, ranking third on the team in rushing with 518 yards and six touchdowns on just 89 carries as he earned votes from the league’s coaches for the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award.

He ranked third in school history in rushing yards by a freshman and also caught eight passes for 98 yards on the season.

Giddens totaled a season-best 78 rushing yards at West Virginia, topping his mark of 58 yards on a season-best 13 carries he had set the previous week at Baylor. His game against the Mountaineers included a season-long rush of 49 yards, which went for a touchdown.

Giddens had a three-game streak with a rushing touchdown against West Virginia, Baylor and Kansas. He also scored in the first two games of the season against South Dakota and Missouri, as well as against Oklahoma State.

Giddens had 67 yards in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, a game in which he had season highs in catches (three), receiving yards (48) and longest reception (36). He now enters 2023 as the “thunder” part of a “thunder and lightning” combination with Treshaun Ward.

Giddens prepped under head coach Randall Zimmerman at Junction City, where he rushed for 1,912 yards and 34 touchdowns during his career, including 1,255 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior.

His rushing yardage in 2020 ranked as the fifth most in school history for a single season.

Giddens earned first-team all-state honors as a senior from The Topeka Capital-Journal, while he was an honorable mention pick by The Wichita Eagle.

He ranked among the program’s top 10 in career rushing touchdowns (34; tied for second), total touchdowns (34; fourth), carries (266; fifth) and rushing yards (1,912; seventh).

Giddens scored five touchdowns in a game against Wichita East and he was only the third player in school history to reach that mark.

He also ran for 216 yards in the Kansas Class 6A state championship game.

Here’s what Chris Klieman had to say about Giddens’ potential in 2023 at Big 12 Media Days:

I think DJ Giddens will also really be a surprise. He’ll have a phenomenal year because of what he’s done with his body and to transform himself. He’s become more of a student of the game. That’s what I’m more impressed with. He’s always been a natural football player, but he’s learned more about the game. I think he learned that from Deuce, and Deuce taught him, “Here are the things you need to learn and know.” He missed the spring recovering from a surgery, and he’s healthy now and watching him run around he’s probably in the best shape of his life and he’s a load back there. He just needs reps behind that offensive line.