The NFL draft is over. The Kansas State-specific draft and NFL signing news came in a sudden flood rather than the trickle we're used to. Major props to our fearless leader Jon Morse for staying on top of all the news!
That Tyler Lockett was drafted on Friday was no surprise, but the same could not be said for Saturday's news: Randall Evans was selected in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. Morse had details here, and the folks from Bleeding Green Nation weighed in too. Speaking of Evans, here's an interesting tidbit about how he ended up in Manhattan, i.e. Michael Beasley talked him into it!
Other Kansas State players also discovered their NFL fate yesterday. B.J. Finney signed as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team and program likely to be a good fit with Finney's no-nonsense personality and work ethic. This story about Finney's harrowing wait and ultimate satisfaction, is a must-read, and if you manage to get through it dry-eyed, I don't know what's wrong with you (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
Meanwhile, the man who took snaps from Finney is also off to the NFL. As Morse reported here yesterday, Jake Waters has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, although there is some speculation as to whether he will continue as a quarterback. Waters has wisely maintained Twitter silence on the issue, at least so far.
There was plenty of noise about Ryan Mueller signing with the San Diego Chargers yesterday, and Mueller ultimately confirmed the news via Twitter. He signed as LB/FB so he's unlikely to continue in his current position, but as an athlete who wants to contribute, he'll do fine at any position.
Finally, the last bit of news yesterday involved Jonathan Truman and an invitation to participate in mini-camp for the Miami Dolphins. Although this is likely to be a tryout rather than a signing, I hope the Dolphins are prepared for beast mode in the weight room.
Kansas State evened the series with Arkansas State with a 16-5 win yesterday. Fueled by a season-high 14 walks and an avalanche of hits that led to the team's second-highest run total this season, the BatCats showed much better plate discipline this time. In a game that Brad Hill described as ugly, thanks to errors from both teams, Kansas State struggled a bit early on, but opened things up in the third, with a bunt single from Max Brown and a two-run single from Clayton Dalrymple.
The rubber match to decide the series will be played today at 1 PM.
The track team continued its winning ways in windy conditions at the Rock Chalk Classic in Lawrence. The Wildcats took first in eight events and combined for a total of 29 top-five finishes.
In the field, Dani Winters took first in the shot put, eclipsing the 17m mark and finishing seven feet ahead of the rest of the field. She is currently ranked sixth in this event nationally, and the effort also moved her into the No. 2 spot on Kansas State's all-time records list.
In the men's high jump, the Wildcats competed against former teammate Erik Kynard, who predictably took first. However, Nate Gipson cleared a season-best mark of 2.23m to finish just behind Kynard. On the women's side, Alyx Treasure cleared over 6 ft for the second time this season, good for a second-place finish at the meet.
Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye took first in the men's long jump event with a distance of 7.98m (wind-asssisted) beating the 17-man field by nearly three feet. This is his second win in three meets this year. In the triple jump, Nija Collier jumped a season-best 12.77m (wind-assisted) to win her first event of the season. Meanwhile, Dani Plank and Ivan Hartung each took second place in the women's and men's javelin throw respectively.
On the track, the women continued to excel. First, A'Keyla Mitchell and Sonia Gaskin finished 1-2 in the 400m event, the only two athletes to clock sub-55 times on the day. Mitchell later teamed with Akela Jones and Tia Gamble to win the 4x400m event. Jones also finished second in the 110m hurdles.