Well, we’ve got a lot to catch up on. Maybe we should get back to dropping the Slate more than once a week.... ;-)
Last week, Jerome Tang officially announced that Rodney Perry had been hired to fill the final assistant coach spot on Tang’s inaugural staff at K-State.
Perry had long been expected to be the third assistant, but delayed joining the staff until his summer season with both his academy team (Link Academy in Branson) and his AAU team (MOKAN Elite) were finished. Oh, and those two teams had great seasons, with Link Academy finishing as the national runner-up at the GEICO National Tournament, going 34-2 in just their first season, and MOKAN Elite taking the championship (their 3rd overall) at the prestigious Nike Peach Jam that concluded the Sunday before Perry’s announcement as coach. Perry has spent significant time in the high school ranks in the region, and worked with prominent programs around Missouri and Oklahoma, as well as spending 15 years as assistant and head coach at colleges and universities across the Midwest. Most recently, he spent two years as an assistant at Kansas City (UMKC) from 2019-2021.
Wildcats continue to pop up on watch lists as we head into the highly-anticipated 2022 season. And to make it easy, since there have been so many since our last roundup, we’re just going to list them off.
- Ty Zentner - Ray Guy Award (college punter of the year)
- Will Howard - Wuerffel Trophy (community service and “positive impact”)
- Malik Knowles - Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player in major college football)
- Deuce Vaughn - Walter Camp Award (nation’s most outstanding player)
- Felix Anudike-Uzomah - Chuck Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year)
- Randen Plattner - Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award (award started in 2019)
- Cooper Beebe & King Felix - Rotary Lombardi Award (college down lineman of the year)
Yeah, this team could be something special. Oh, and fall practice started yesterday, so get pumped!
Recruiting also didn’t go to sleep while we were away. The biggest news was that despite having committed just over a month ago, and at that time saying he wouldn’t “decommit or transfer”, Dylan Edwards decided that he’d had enough time as a Cat and chose to de-commit from K-State just after receiving a late offer from Notre Dame and taking an unofficial visit to South Bend. It not only blind-sided Kansas State fans who had been excited about adding him, it was also apparently a surprise to the K-State coaches and he has since burned some bridges on the way out the door. Oh well, on to the next.
But it wasn’t all bad news on the recruiting trail, as Chris Klieman and the Wildcats picked up three commitments last week. First up was linebacker Austin Romaine out of Missouri. The 6’2 230lbs 3-star chose K-State over a bevy of options from mostly elite academic schools as well as regional FCS school. Romaine, who hails from Hillsboro, MO (a small town southwest of St. Louis), received his offer after camping at K-State in late June, and finally pulled the trigger on the Cats to end July.
Then a day later it was defensive back Robert “RJ” Lester out of Arkansas. The 6’3 185lbs Fort Smith native picked K-State over offers from Tulane and Tulsa, and is currently unrated by the recruiting services.
Then to cap the week, the Cats picked up the commitment of 3-star defensive lineman Chiddi Obizaor. The 6’6 245lbs lineman out of Eden Prairie, MN chose K-State over offers from Akron, Incarnate Word, Ohio, and Tulane, and received his offer at the same camp as Austin Romaine. Obiazor is also a star basketball player for Eden Prairie, and while listed as a defensive end prospect he does have the frame to to bulk up and move inside if necessary (much like Jaylen Pickle).
I also joined fellow SBNation blog Burnt Orange Nation to preview K-State for their Longhorn Republic podcast. We talked Deuce, the new offense, and loads more.
Track & Field
Recent K-State grad Tejaswin Shankar captured the bronze medal in the men’s high jump on Wednesday afternoon at the Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England. Despite being a two-time NCAA champion, this was Shankar’s first medal in international competition, and he earned bronze after clearing a height of 2.22m/7-3.25 on his first attempt to win India’s first track and field medal at the Commonwealth Games. That mark was his second-highest of the outdoor season this year, after clearing 2.27m/7-5.25 in a sudden-death jump off to win the NCAA championship back in June.