Kansas State Football: Optimism, Concern As Spring Drills Begin

Exactly three months after their Texas Bowl win, Kansas State Football returned to action on Wednesday. The Wildcats held their first of 15 spring practices.

It’s been a long 90-days. It’s hard to believe we last saw Kansas State whipping Texas A&M a couple of days after Christmas.

The 9-4 season that included wins over five teams from Texas was satisfying but left a lot to be desired.

First and foremost, there is plenty to be excited about for the season ahead and some significant changes and concerns.

The Wildcats have more needs on defense than offense.

I’m not worried about the offensive side of the ball.  After a full season under center and that outstanding performance in the bowl game, Jesse Ertz should be ready for anything.

He has some experienced linemen to protect him including five players who saw significant playing time last season.

He also has a new quarterback coach. Former Wildcat quarterback Colin Klein is on this year’s coaching staff. He takes over for longtime assistant Del Miller who retired.

We saw what Klein did in a limited role to help Jake Waters set a Wildcat passing record during the 2014 season.

With a stable of quality running backs and receivers returning, the ‘Cat offense is in good shape. They may need to put up a lot of points.

The Wildcat defense has some big holes to fill. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jordan Willis and three of the team’s top tacklers from last season are gone.

Coach Snyder has a big job ahead to replace those three tacklers, all linebackers. He also needs someone to coach the linebackers.

Mike Cox, who has coached Snyder’s linebackers since 2012, announced earlier this month he was not returning.

Change is difficult on the field and on the coaching staff.

The Wildcats need to make the most of each of the 15 practices in advance of the Purple and White Spring game on April 22.