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Kansas State's Cody Whitehair impressing at Senior Bowl practices

Plus other news and notes as we head into the final weekend before National Signing Day.

Draft stock: climbing rapidly.
Draft stock: climbing rapidly.
Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone else tired of people dying? We're not even a month into 2016 and the list of Deaths in 2016 on Wikipedia already has 27 names which I immediately recognized without having to think about it. That's almost one a day.

One might get the feeling that this is a function of getting older, and therefore there are just more people I've heard of that are exiting this mortal coil. But there are enough people a generation older than I who are also commenting on the rash of celebrity deaths to set that aside. It's disturbing, and it needs to stop now.

Of course, we're not here for that. We're here to see what's happening in Wildcatland. Let's take a look.

First and most importantly, JT starts breaking down the 2016 recruiting class by discussing the guys that K-State already has their hands on -- the early enrollees and 2015 grayshirts, and literally just posted info on Tre Jackson's commitment announcement. Meanwhile, Gracey directed your attention to someone K-State may sign; TCU decommit LB Clifton Lewis announces today, and he's got at least one eye on Manhattan.

Gracey also dug up the Big 12 basketball Color Stats, which are a pretty neat visual which you should check out.

Hot on the heels of gashing the Wildcats with a double-double, West Virginia forward Jonathan Holton is now suspended for a rules violation. Thanks, Huggy. Couldn't you have done that four days ago?

Over at the Collegian, Riley Gates claims the Big 12's not fair. It's just too good.

The Star's Pete Grathoff ranks the Big 12-SEC Challenge games by watchability. K-State's game is... not high on that list. More surprising is that Kansas-Kentucky isn't atop it.


As the women prepare to take on sixth-ranked Texas at Bramlage tomorrow night, Kelly McHugh-Stewart reports on how junion Breanna Lewis has upped her game by focusing on the little things.

Speaking of the Big 12-SEC Challenge, The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel asks why we can't have one in football too. From the K-State perspective, this would seem to be just fine; after all, the Wildcats have four games against the SEC in the next five years.

The non-conference schedule for one of those years is now filled. In 2018, South Dakota will again visit Manhattan to open the season, giving the Cats three home games as Mississippi State and UTSA also visit. This completes the Wildcat non-conference schedule through 2018.

A piece from CBS DFW reports on Senior Bowl practices and says Cody Whitehair is the best offensive lineman on the field, projecting a second-round pick and a starting gig as a rookie. High praise, and good news for K-State's draft streak.

Also from the "CBS local affiliate" inbox, Bill Walsh of Milwaukee's WDJT is on a road trip. As Milwaukee is a Packer town, he began his trip yesterday with a visit to Manhattan to get a grip on just who Jordy Nelson is. The article includes a video tour of the new locker room which bears Nelson's name, so if you'd like a good look free of the athletic department's spin, here you go.

Salina South tight end Trace Kochevar has committed to grayshirt, and Arne Green at the Salina Journal has the story.

It would be silly to be named National Female Track Athlete of the Week and not earn the Big 12's Female Athlete of the Week honor. However, since this is the Big 12, y'all require confirmation. Here it is: Akela Jones is the Big 12 Female Athlete of the Week.

This weekend K-State welcomes 10 new members to its Athletics Hall of Fame. One of those is current director of track & field and cross-country at Northern Illinois Connie Teaberry, a former high jumper at K-State. Northern Illinois itself issued a laudatory press release, which isn't actually standard practice.

Kelly McHugh-Stewart profiles another of this weekend's inductees, volleyball standout Dawn Cady, in Sports Extra.