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A Big Day for a Big Wildcat

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The NFL Draft starts tonight, plus a big WBB honor

NCAA Football: Kansas at Kansas State
Nov 26, 2016; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Carter Stanley (9) runs from Kansas State Wildcats defensive end Jordan Willis (75) during a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. The Wildcats won the game, 34-19. 
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got a little bit of news from all over the place today, so lets wrap up most of it before we hit the big tickets items.

First, unless you were living under a rock today, you heard about the big layoff at ESPN that affected dozens of on-air talent and some of the best writers covering college sports in TWWL’s arsenal. The KC Star managed to catch most of the big names that got “the call” yesterday, including big names like Jeremy Crabtree, Ed Werder, Brett McMurphy, Dr. Jerry Punch, Trent Dilfer, Jayson Stark, Max Olson, Len Elmore, and Jay Crawford among so many others. We wish best of luck to the men and women affected as they search for their next home in the sports-reporting landscape.

The Big 12 Men’s Golf Tournament wrapped up yesterday amid poor weather conditions (for golf) in Hutchinson. The K-State team battled and gained a spot on the final day to finish 7th in the tournament. The Cats were led by freshman Jacob Eklund, who concluded his impressive play in the conference championship on Wednesday by tying for 16th place with an 18-over par 298 score. That makes the second-straight year a freshman has led the Wildcats at the Big 12 Championship.

The K-State Track & Field squad will be busy this weekend as the Cats are sending athletes to two events in Iowa. The headliner is the prestigious Drake Relays held at Drake University in a city that doesn’t exist Des Moines. The Cats will also be sending a contingent to the Kip Janvrin Open, hosted by Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

A member of the K-State football staff will receive a huge honor, as Scott Eilert, a 25-year member of the K-State Football staff as the director of video services, will be inducted into the Collegiate Sports Video Association (CSVA) Hall of Fame during its annual award banquet on May 18.

And the penultimate news today. Jeff Mittie was honored by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (KBCA) as they named Mittie the recipient of the 2017 Women’s Basketball Four-Year College Coach of the Year Award. Mittie receives the honor after leading the Wildcats to their best Big 12 win total since the 2007-08 team that won the Big 12 title, best overall record since the 2008-09 team with 23 wins, and also became the only coach in K-State WBB history to lead his teams to two NCAA tournament appearances in in his first three years. After finishing up his third season at K-State with a second-round tournament loss to Final Four participant Stanford, Mittie’s coaching record sits at 61-38 (.616) with the Wildcats and 515-273 (.654) overall.

And the big news you’ve all been waiting for. The NFL Draft starts tonight. And you would do yourself a favor by tuning in to the later part of the first-round coverage tonight as K-State defensive end Jordan Willis is expected to have a legitimate shot to selected in the opening round, though it will most likely be in the last half-dozen picks. If selected in the first round, Willis will become the first Wildcat to go in the first round since Josh Freeman was selected 17th overall in 2009 draft, and the first Bill Synder-coached Cat since Terence Newman was selected 5th overall in the 2003 draft. The NFL Draft begins officially at 7 p.m. GOTZ (CDT) in Philadelphia, and can be seen on ESPN, the NFL Network, and streaming online at WatchESPN.com. If you are interested in coverage other than just that of Jordan Willis, then be sure and check out the SBNation NFL Draft Hub for coverage from across the football landscape (and be prepared for a lot of fawning over that dude that got PWNED by a freshman in the Texas Bowl).