We are now just six days from kick-off against North Dakota State, which means in exactly one week EMAW nation will be celebrating a 1-0 start to the season and I’ll be running around the paintball course like a chicken with its head cut off (no, I do not always bring success to my team). Today we look at two players from the Manhattan area listed as jersey #6 on the roster – Tate Snyder and Deante Burton
Snyder’s name may sound familiar to some readers. I think a family member is a coach at K-State or something – Sean Snyder, his father, is like Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Director of Football Operations. Oh yeah, and his grandfather was responsible for the greatest coach football program transformation in history. Needless to say, this family knows a thing or two when it comes to football.
Tate Snyder is a redshirt junior and came to K-State after being named to the All-State 6A First Team at linebacker in high school. He was also the 2009 Flint Hills Player of the Year and a Shrine Bowl participant. After redshirting in 2010 he was injured during 2011, and did not see the field in 2012. He did not record any statistics during the spring game this year either.
There have been grumblings that Snyder is a low/no-impact player and his scholarship is due to the man calling the shots, not what he brings to the table. This opinion has been bolstered by the fact he was only a two-star athlete and no other D-I schools offered him a scholarship. It’s unfortunate Snyder has to deal with these accusations – he was still named to the 6A First Team by he Topeka Capital-Journal, Wichita Eagle and Kansas Football Coaches Association. Other schools that saw potential probably didn’t think it was worth offering to a kid already intent on going to K-State. And we’ve made a living turning undervalued players into stars.
As such, we’re taking the wait-and-see approach with Snyder. The team was stacked at linebacker this year and some of the role players on special teams in 2012 are now stepping up to starting spots, meaning Snyder may assume a special teams role in 2013. I’m not certain he’s going to be a star, but entering his junior year there’s no reason to think he can’t be a productive special teams member and make an impact on the squad.
Burton is a redshirt freshman who played with Snyder at Manhattan High School, being featured on both sides of the ball at receiver and defensive back. He was best known for his defensive play in high school, being named to the All-State team, but is projected to play receiver for the Wildcats.
Burton was all over the field in high school. His junior year he had 244 receiving yards and three touchdowns. As a senior he had 327 receiving yards for five touchdowns, 216 rushing yards for three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also handled punt return duties, and had two scores as a senior.
Rivals rated Burton the fourth best prospect in Kansas last year, although as a receiver I’d like to see a player with a bigger vertical (he’s 6’2″, so he starts out with an advantage, but jumps just 28 inches). He received interest from Oklahoma State, South Florida, and UCLA, but ultimately decided to stay home in Manhattan.
Burton will have a hard time breaking onto the offense his first year, as K-State is more stacked at wide receiver than the media is willing to acknowledge. However, there’s no reason to believe he can’t be a solid special teams contributor. The coaching staff is looking for ways to utilize his abilities, and he caught one pass for five yards in the spring game from Daniel Sams (he had one other target on the day). Look for Burton to see some time as a gunner, as his defensive experience leaves him ready for the assignment and he’s a dangerous receiver in the event of a fake punt.