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2 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Kobe Savage

In which BracketCat counts down the second day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State safety Kobe Savage.

#2 Kobe Savage
With his headhunting style and excellent tackling skills, Kobe Savage (2) quickly cemented himself as one of the key guys in the heart and soul of the 2022 defense before his unfortunate injury at Baylor cut his season short. Luckily, the Cats still won a championship and he gets to return to help defend it (unlike poor Cincere Mason who suffered the same fate one game after replacing him).
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via 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. 2: UNSELFISHNESS. There is no “I” in TEAM.

#2 Kobe Savage

Redshirt Senior | 5-11 | 207 lbs. | Paris, Texas
Kobe Savage
Kobe Savage
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Safety
  • Previous Colleges: Texas A&M University-Commerce; Tyler Junior College
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Kobe Lane Savage (b. Feb. 12, 2001) is a veteran JUCO transfer defensive back who is majoring in communication studies and set to return Saturday at the strong safety position.

This hard-hitting preseason All-Big 12 pick also started the first 10 games of the 2022 Big 12 Championship season at strong safety before a devastating knee injury unfortunately cut his season short in Waco, Texas, much to relief of future offenses he would have haunted.

Nevertheless, Savage still tied for fourth on the team with 58 tackles despite missing the final four games and he earned All-Big 12 second-team honors from the league’s coaches, in addition to earning votes for the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year award.

He totaled three interceptions to tie for 43rd nationally and sixth in the Big 12 Conference.

Savage also had three tackles for loss and a forced fumble; registered a season-high 11 tackles at Oklahoma en route to Big 12 Newcomer of the Week accolades; and had tackles for loss against South Dakota, Texas Tech and Texas, the latter coming on a third-down stop to give the ball back to the Wildcats with a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

He tallied interceptions in back-to-back games against Missouri and Tulane, teaming with Daniel Green to give K-State the same two players with picks in the same consecutive games since 2014 (Dante Barnett and Randall Evans did it versus West Virginia and Kansas).

Savage had nine tackles and forced a fumble against Texas Tech, while he had eight tackles against Texas and seven against Tulane. He enters 2023 as a team captain and is on the watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and Jim Thorpe Award.

Savage redshirted in 2019 at Texas A&M-Commerce, then transferred to Tyler Junior College, where he played two seasons for the Apaches under head coach Thomas Rocco.

He was viewed as the 38th-best overall community college prospect and fifth-best community college safety by ESPN after he totaled 100 tackles, two tackles for loss, six interceptions and four pass breakups during his career, which included a 70-tackle campaign as a sophomore as he earned second-team NJCAA All-American and first-team all-conference honors.

Savage carded a career-high 12 tackles on two occasions in 2021, coming against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and at Kilgore College; returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown against NEO; had two interceptions in Tyler’s second game of the year against Kilgore, which was a playoff win; and helped Tyler to a 28-7 victory over Coffeyville Community College in the Heart of Texas Bowl.

He played at Tyler with No. 4 cornerback Justice James and former linebacker Gavin Forsha.

Savage prepped under head coach Steve Hohenberger at Paris (Texas) High School, where he was a two-year letter-winner for the Wildcats as both a quarterback and safety.

He totaled 107 tackles, eight pass breakups, two interceptions and four tackles for loss; also tallied 28 touchdowns, 1,568 rushing yards and 986 passing yards as a prep; and earned all-district honors as he helped Paris to win district, bi-district and area championships.

Savage picked K-State over offers from Eastern Kentucky, Gardner-Webb, Incarnate Word, Kent State, Lamar, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Nicholls State, North Texas, Northern Iowa, Northwestern State, Southeast Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Tennessee State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas-Permian Basin and UTEP.

His primary recruiter was his new position coach, defensive coordinator Joe Klanderman.

Savage theoretically retains an additional season of eligibility since he played in 2020.