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K-State gets them early

6/29/2014

By Kellis Robinett

McClatchy-Tribune

MANHATTAN -- Summer is one week old, and already Bill Snyder says it is going by too fast.

Good thing the Kansas State football coach has a healthy left foot to help him make the most of the remaining offseason.

The walking boot that slowed Snyder during spring practices is gone and he says he is back to walking the way he did before undergoing foot surgery after K-State's victory in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

"I have been out of the boot for, I don't know, about four weeks. I am making headway," Snyder said. "I feel better. It is getting better. I am doing the rehab right now and it is getting a lot better."

Snyder looks forward to coaching at full speed this season. At the conclusion of K-State's lackluster spring football game, a dull scrimmage that produced few highlights, he blamed his decreased mobility -- at least in part -- for the forgettable performance.

"That was frustrating," Snyder said.

With that ailment in the past he is now focused on the future. Preseason practices don't begin until August, so, for now, that means finding a place for former quarterback Collin Klein on his staff and recruiting.

Snyder isn't sure what position Klein will take -- likely a grad assistant or quality control role -- but he thinks Klein will be a valuable sideline asset for K-State's offense.

Klein also might come in handy as an on-campus recruiter, though the Wildcats appear to be doing well on the recruiting trail as is.

K-State already has secured six commitments for its 2015 recruiting class, a number that ranks low in the Big 12 but high for the program.

Under Snyder, the Wildcats traditionally take a slow approach to recruiting, waiting until fall to fully evaluate talent and extend scholarship offers to seniors. But, for the second straight year, K-State is taking a more aggressive approach, welcoming recruits to commit before the start of their senior season.

Hays High School quarterback Alex Delton, a three-star recruit and the fourth-ranked prospect in the Sunflower State, led the way by committing in February. Other in-state talents, Free State tackle Scott Frantz and Bishop Carroll running back Denzel Goolsby, are also on board. They join Georgia playmakers Kalin Heath and Isaiah Zuber, and Nebraska offensive lineman Adam Holtorf as known commitments.

Though TCU (16), West Virginia (13), Texas (10) and Baylor (10) all have reached double digits in the commitment department, K-State is on par with the rest of the conference.

Not that Snyder told his staff to line up six commitments before July.

"There is no quota system for us in regards to how many we need to have before such and such a date," Snyder said. "You recruit now and in the spring like you would in January of a youngster's senior year.

"The way the recruiting process is now, it has kind of turned upside down. Young people are making commitments far earlier than they ever have been before. I don't personally think it is a good thing, but if you don't recruit at the same pace that others do, you obviously fall behind and a lot of young guys fall off the market if you are not actively involved.

"It is kind of staying up with the Joneses, as much as anything."