With just ten days to go until kick-off against North Dakota State (that’s right, the countdown is 90 percent done!), The Jug presents another player double feature with wide receiver Lucas Munds and safety Donnie Starks. Let’s get it on!
Munds is a redshirt freshman from Hutchison High School, where his speed was utilized at the running back position (Hutchinson also relies on a triple option attack where running is prized over passing). He used his redshirt season learning the position, becoming more familiar with route running and adjusting to defenders. However, he’s still an excellent athlete and had over 900 yards rushing his senior year, going over 100 yards in the 5A State Championship game. He finished the game with 117 yards, but could have made it even more if not for the fact that the Salthawks’ quarterback was injured and had to leave the game, at which point Munds was inserted under center.
Munds is also a bit lanky for the running back position, at 6’2″ and just under 200 pounds – making receiver a much more suitable position. However, he can be utilized a variety of methods. During the semifinal playoff game against Bishop Carroll, he was inserted into the fullback position after the starting fullback was injured. He responded with a 183 yard, three touchdown performance in the team’s 29-21 victory.
Munds caught one pass for 16 yards during the spring game. Going up against the first team defense, nobody on the White Squad caught more than one pass and the longest reception was Staton Weber’s 17 yarder (i.e., Munds looked as good as anyone on the second team this spring). While he may struggle to see a lot of time behind a good receiving corps his freshman year, his versatility and athleticism could open up a lot of opportunities going forward.
Donnie Starks is another redshirt freshman and will be battling Munds for the right to don #10 this year. A safety from Crosby, Texas, Starks was ranked about the 200th best safety in the nation and 400th best player coming out of Texas overall by 247 Sports. An all-district performer, he graduated Crosby High School with 189 solo tackles, 44 assisted tackles and six interceptions – one of which was a pick-six.
Starks may be the fastest safety the Wildcats put on the field, and his spot with the team was all over the board last year. He originally came to Manhattan intending to grayshirt, not receiving a scholarship until 2012 after coming to K-State in 2011. However, defections opened up a scholarship for him and the team contemplated making him a part of the team with playing time immediately. Yet the redshirt never came off last season, leaving him with four years of eligibility going forward. The two-star athlete is down the depth chart and likely won’t see the field unless it’s on special teams. However, he’s another underclassman that, with proper development, should be very successful as an upperclassman.