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With 73 days left in our countdown to kick-off against North Dakota State University, #73 Tavon Rooks is the next item on our list of topics to discuss. Yet before I talk about Rooks, let me just state I’ve really enjoyed working through the 70s, as it allows me to focus on the jersey numbers of unsung players. Guys like Cornelius Lucas and B.J. Finney helped pave the way for John Hubert and Collin Klein all year, and the time they often provided Klein to throw in the backfield was underappreciated by sites that do and don’t follow the Wildcats very closely. So here’s to the men of the trenches, and now on to one of K-State’s best recruiting victories in 2012.
Tavon Rooks was a JUCO recruit out of Navarro Junior College – a label that often scares away major college programs. Yet K-State was forced to compete with several big names that all offered scholarships to the talented tackle. Arizona, Auburn, Pitt, Utah, and West Virginia were among the suitors that came calling for the three-star recruit that found his way to Manhattan from Corsicana, TX.
Rooks started at right tackle during the 2012 season and is expected to anchor the spot again this year. An All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Rivals ranked him as the #23 overall JUCO recruit in the nation last year. He helped Navarro win a national title his freshman year while the team had the fifth best passing offense in the nation his sophomore season.
Rooks spurned both Pittsburgh and West Virginia, which are close to his home state of Maryland, in favor of K-State in part because he felt Bill Snyder’s staff offered him the best chance to develop as a player. He cited the program’s history with turning junior college recruits into successful athletes and desired to pursue the best opportunity to be successful himself. Tavon brings both the physical tools and personality that makes him a critical asset to this team’s success.
To work backwards in our countdown, visit 74 days, where we preview backup guard Kason Hostrup.