As expected yesterday, Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder named senior Carson Coffman his starting quarterback.
At his weekly news conference today, Snyder once again stuck with the familiar when he released the depth chart for Saturday’s game against UCLA.
Most of his starters have on-field experience, and were names most of us in the media expected to see. But there were a few surprises.
For starters, Tramaine Thompson will start at wide receiver along with Aubrey Quarles and Brodrick Smith. Throughout the spring and preseason, players and coaches spent most of their time hyping Oregon transfer Chris Harper for that third starting spot.
But Thompson, a 5-foot-7 redshirt freshman, became a reliable target in the spring and looked fantastic at K-State’s Fan Appreciation Day.
Coffman said he is one of his favorite receivers to throw to, and the cornerbacks that defend him say he has a mixture of quickness and toughness that sets him apart.
On the offensive line, Manase Foketi and Ethan Douglas will start at left tackle and right tackle (respectively) around Kenneth Mayfield, Wade Weibert and Zach Kendall.
Foketi, a junior college transfer, looked good at K-State’s recent open practice. Douglas beat out junior Clyde Aufner for the other tackle spot.
Travis Tannahill will start the first game at tight end against UCLA, but Snyder said freshman Andre McDonald will also receive playing time.
We also learned who Daniel Thomas’ backup will be. John Hubert won that spot over William Powell. Snyder said Powell has been injured.
On defense, we learned who will start next to Alex Hrebec at linebacker: Jarell Childs and Troy Butler. Childs, a sophomore, has shown promise during preseason practices and Butler is a reliable senior.
True freshman Tre Walker made the depth chart immediately behind Hrebec. Snyder said Walker is one of the most advanced newcomers on K-State’s roster.
And at the cornerback positions, Terrance Sweeney and Stephen Harrison were named starters. David Garrett and Matthew Pearson will back them up.
Sweeney and Smith will handle kickoff return duties. Smith and Thompson will be the main punt returners.