Kansas State football 2024 projected depth chart: Finally in the Avery Johnson era

With the spring football wrapped up and the transfer portal officially closed it is time to look at projected depth charts before heading into the summer months before the 2024 season.
Dec 28, 2023; Orlando, FL, USA;  Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Avery Johnson (2) runs with the ball against the NC State defense in the Pop-Tarts Bowl.
Dec 28, 2023; Orlando, FL, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Avery Johnson (2) runs with the ball against the NC State defense in the Pop-Tarts Bowl. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Every Kansas State football fan has been waiting for this season since the signing of quarterback Avery Johnson. Every Wildcat fan knew exactly what was going to happen when Will Howard announced he was answering the transfer portal back in December 2023.

With Howard gone, Kansas State is officially in the Johnson era and Wildcat fans could not be more excited. They got a taste of what Johnson could do on the field throughout the season on a drive here and there, but it wasn't until the Wildcats were in the Pop-Tarts Bowl and Jonhson got his first career start that Kansas State fans truly got to see Johnson center stage.

Now Chris Klieman's squad went through quite the change this past offseason with quite a few players entering the portal and key pieces heading to the NFL. However, Klieman did what he does best and brought in just enough guys through the transfer portal and recruitment class to fill spots of need.

For the fourth year in a row, Kansas State did not hold a spring football game. So fans were unable to see the progress of spring practice played out on the field. However, based on press conferences, it seems like Klieiman was able to get his new squad into shape.

So with so many new faces and open spots, how different will this team look in 2024? Well here is a projected depth chart for the Wildcats in 2024 starting with the offense.



  • QB1: Avery Johnson
  • QB2: Jacob Knuth
  • QB3: Blake Barnett

There is no surprise that Johnson is the QB1 on the depth chart, but it looks like Jacob Knuth, a redshirt freshman will have his shot at the primary backup position. Blake Barnett cleans everything up at the QB3 position and hopefully, he can learn a lot behind Johnson and Knuth because there is a lot of excitement around his future with the Wildcats.

Running Backs

RB1: DJ Giddens
RB2: Joe Jackson
RB3: Rice Devon

Now some may ask where Dylan Edwards is on this list, but Edwards just made his commitment to the Wildcats, he needs to get into the facility and start working out with the team before Klieman can decide where he wants him. Of course, DJ Giddens will be the primary running back after he recorded 1,226 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2023.

Wide Receivers

- WR1: Keagan Johnson
- WR2: Tre Spivey
- WR3: Erwin Nash

- WR1: Dante Cephas
- WR2: Jadon Jackson
- WR3: Jacques Spradley-Demps

- WR1: Jayce Brown
- WR2: Sterling Lockett
- WR3: Quenton Rice

Keagan Johnson, Dante Cephas and Jayce Brown will be the primary wide receivers on the field with a mix of others from time to time. Cephas comes in as the only potential new starting wide receiver as a transfer from Penn State. Jayce Brown already has a connection built with Johnson as he was his favorite target in the Pop-Tarts Bowl catching five receptions for 52 yards and the go-ahead touchdown.

Tight Ends

  • TE1: Garrett Oakley
  • TE2: Will Swanson
  • TE3: Brayden Loftin

The starting tight-end position has quite a different look without Ben Sinnott's name appearing. Sinnott was drafted in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft after declaring at the end of his junior season. Garrett Oakley did see time on the field even with Sinnott on the roster and should fill in well on the blocking front, however, he may not have the receiving skills Sinnott possessed.

Offensive Line

  • LT: Easton Kilty, John Pastore
  • LG: Andrew Leingang, Alex Key
  • OC: Hadley Panzer, Sam Hetch
  • RG: Taylor Poitier, Drake Bequeaith
  • RT: Carver Willis, Devin Vass

The offensive line will have a whole new look this season and the loss of Cooper Beebe to the NFL was a big one. Klieman knew what he was doing, however, in the offseason by bringing in Easton Kilty to help build this new line around. Kilty brings veteran experience to a line that desperately will need it going forward.


Defensive Line

  • LDE: Cody Stufflebean, Chiddi Obiazor, Jordan Allen
  • NT: Uso Seumalo, Damian Ilalio, Asher Tomaszewski
  • RDE: Brendan Mott, Tobi Osunsanmi, Travis Bates

The defensive line also went through quite a change with the loss of guys to the NFL like KT Leveston who was drafted in the seventh round by the LA Rams. Cod Stufflbean comes in with the most experience on this line and seem like he will be the leader.


  • WLB: Austin Moore, Asa Newsom
  • MLB: Jake Clifton, Austin Romaine, BEau Palmer
  • SLB: Desmond Purnell, Rex Van Whye

The Wildcats should be good in the second phase on defense, however, they will need to take a step forward in 2024 playing in a conference with a prolific run game.


  • LCB: Jacob Parrish, Justice James, Donovan McIntosh
  • SS: VJ Payne, Colby McCalister, Kam Sallis
  • JS: Jack Fabris, Riley Jordan, Dante Thomas
  • FS: Marques Sigle, Wesley Fair, Daniel Cobbs
  • RCB: Keenan Garber, Tyler Nelome, Kanijal Thomas

The secondary is where Kleiman could have probably spent a little more time in the transfer portal. With the loss of Kobe Savage and Will Lee III, young talent, the Wildcats have lost the core of their secondary. However, they are not doomed, they still have veterans Marques Sigle and Desmond Purnell that will help the younger guys coming up.

Special Teams

  • PT: Simon McClannan, Teagan Cobb
  • PK: Chris Tennant, Leyton Simmering
  • KO: Chris Tennant, Simon McClannan
  • LS: Mason Olguin, Keane Bessert
  • H: Simon McClannan, Teagan Cobb
  • PR: Sterling Lockett
  • KR: Keagan Johnson