With 36 days to until kick-off against North Dakota State, jersey number 36 provides a double-header of sorts. With two players listed at #36 on the most recent (Spring) roster, today we’ll be examining two fresh faces on campus this year in Kade True of Salina and Dayton Valentine from Baldwin City.
Kade True played at Salina Central where he recorded 60 solo tackles, 96 total tackles (13.7 per game), two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a pass deflection. He has good size for the linebacker position at 6’3″ and 230 pounds. He’s a solid overall athlete, and finished second in the 5A wrestling meet. However, it’s unknown whether he’ll have a spot on the team. He appears to be walking on to the team and was listed as the 49th best player in the state this year. It’s a long journey from walking on to securing a spot on the team and he doesn’t appear to have preferred walk-on status. The Mustangs have produced some seriously quality players over the past few years (Terrance Newman and Jake Sharp immediately come to mind), and he’s a player to monitor with the potential to be a contributor on the team.
Tight end Dayton Valentine should have an easier path to the playing field as a three-star athlete ESPN rated as the 149th best tight end in the nation and seventh best overall player in Kansas in the 2013 recruiting class. A star for Baldwin High School, ESPN noted that he is a highly versatile athlete who was all named a first team all-state defensive lineman in Class 4A. He’s a very strong player and also won state championships in the shot put and discus events. Valentine is a greyshirt athlete enrolled in classes this fall and will sign a scholarship with the school January 2014 so that next year will be his first of eligibility.
True will have a difficult time seeing any sort of playing time while Valentine is assured a spot next year but won’t officially be part of the team this season. However, both players offer solid home grown talent that fans around the area would be thrilled to root for in the coming years.
To work backwards in the countdown, visit 37 days for our preview of LB Cody Marley.
In seventh grade Dave rushed off the line, grabbed Beloit's quarterback by his jersey, and pulled him down in the end zone to record a safety. This was definitively his highlight of the year, because it's the only statistic he recorded. The best decision he made in grad school was growing a Pullen beard.