The 2016 NFL Draft wrapped up yesterday. Cody Whitehair was drafted by the Chicago Bears, but no other Kansas State names were called. A number of former Wildcats signed with teams as undrafted free agents, however: Glenn Gronkowski (Buffalo Bills), Morgan Burns (Tennessee), and Boston Stiverson (Dallas Cowboys). Meanwhile, Luke Hayes has been invited to mini-camp by the Houston Texans.
Gronkowski was expected to be drafted, and was the best-rated fullback in the draft, but teams ultimately passed on him, giving his hometown Bills a chance to sign him, and create some instant publicity for the team. Bills GM Doug Whaley thinks Baby Gronk definitely has a shot at a roster spot, noting "[t]hat's a guy at 46 on your 46-man roster during game day that can play three different positions and special teams." (ESPN, Mike Rodak)
Morgan Burns' speed, on evidence all season for the Wildcats, may have caught the NFL's attention. He'll have a pretty good shot at cracking the roster of a team that didn't have a single kick taken to the house last season.
Hopefully, Stiverson and Hayes have an opportunity to make their respective teams as well.
With yesterday's game against Iowa postponed, Kansas State will play a doubleheader today. The first game is underway with the teams tied at 1-1 at the bottom of the third. The second game will be played this evening. Kansas State took a 1-0 series lead with a 3-2 victory on Friday.
At the Big 12 Championships at the Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas, Kansas State freshman Jeremy Gandon was tied for 2nd place, although he's since fallen to fourth place. Through 13 holes today, he is at -3, three shots off leader Paul Barjon of TCU. As a team, however, Kansas State is only in 6th place. You can follow the action live HERE.
Kansas State's rowers took a 22-0 loss in the Sunflower Showdown at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City. As a result, the Jayhawks took home the Kansas Cup for the second year in a row. The loss was a serious disappointment, with head coach Patrick Sweeney noting that the team "did not show up to race." Is it just me or is this becoming a bit of a trend with Kansas State teams, even down to the comments coaches make after these losses?
Next up, the team will be rowing at the Big 12 Championships on May 14-15 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
At the Rock Chalk Classic in Lawrence, the Kansas State track and field teams had a strong showing, with the women finishing in second place (154 points) and the men in third place (118 points). Host school Kansas took home first place honors in both categories. The Wildcats had eight first place finishes and a new school record in men's hammer throw.
A'Keyla Mitchell set the track on fire, winning the 100m and 200m races, while teammate Akela Jones finished second in the 100m hurdles. On the men's side, Terrell Smith won the 200m event.
On the field, Kansas State swept the long jump event, with junior Zanri Van der Merwe winning the women's event, and Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye taking first in the men's event. Shardia Lawrence was tops in the triple jump, while her twin sister Shadae won the women's discus throw event. Natron Gipson took first in the men's high jump, and Tyler Merkely set a new school record while finishing second in the men's hammer throw. Sara Savatovic equaled Merkely's finish on the women's side, while Allison Zerbe won the women's javelin throw event.
Up next, the team is back in Manhattan to host the Ward Haylett Invitational. It will be the team's final meet before heading to Texas for the Big 12 Outdoor Championships.