At about this time last year, Angelo Pease was just happy to be at Kansas State. After spending two years at Hutchinson Community College, he was thrilled to finally be playing at the Division I level.
He entered his first season with the Wildcats as a backup running back and finished with 144 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Not bad considering he only got 36 carries, and was battling a nagging injury.
Pease is still the backup running back today, behind John Hubert, but he is looking to make a larger impact in his senior season. He says he is healthy now, and ready to help K-State out of the wildcat formation (he lined up at quarterback a few times last year) or by taking traditional hand offs.
How excited are you for the season to start?
I’m very excited. I can’t wait. Every practice I go to is a day closer to the moment, this Saturday. I’m ready and excited to come out here and play in front of the fans now that I am 100 percent and healthy.
What was the hardest thing about playing with an injury last year?
It was hard. Some of my teammates needed me, but I couldn’t give 100 percent, so I just stayed back. A year ago I was fresh. I was new into it. It was a lot coming at me all at one time. But now I have a year under my belt. Things still come at me fast, but I’m more mature now. I’m more level. I can handle more things now. It’s not as hard.
Can you say anything about the specifics of your injury?
I ain’t going to talk about my injury. That’s just something we don’t do here.
Fair enough. What is the biggest difference in your running style now that you are healthy?
It’s going to be a big difference because I can come out here and use all of my talents. Last year, I was limited. This year I can come out and show the fans and my teammates that I really can play. I can live up to all the hype and not let my teammates down. Letting my teammates down is probably the worst thing you can do. My injury, it affected a lot of stuff. But I’m a competitor, whatever I go through I am still going to try as hard as I can.
Do you want to line up in more traditional formations this year? Or do you want to run the wildcat formation again?
Hopefully I take more standard snaps, but I would like to take more wildcat snaps, too. When Saturday comes it is in the coaches’ hands. It is their decision. All I can do is produce when I have the ball.
What is your main personal goal for this season?
My main goal for the offseason was staying healthy. That’s the worst thing that can happen to you, getting a nagging injury that stays with you through the whole season that affects you and affects your teammates. My individual goals are to be the best player I can be. I’m just trying to be the best back I can be, and the best team back I can be. You need unselfishness on the team.
Is it hard to be unselfish when you are also trying to prove you are worthy of a starting spot?
Everybody on the team wants a starting spot, but I’m saying if I don’t get a starting spot I am going to keep competing like I can get the starting job. I’m a competitor.
What was the hardest thing about adjusting to Division I football after playing in junior college?
The biggest adjustment was that my first year in junior college I played quarterback. Then my second year I kind of mixed it up. I came here and it was a whole different level. The game speed was different. The guys are bigger. The running back spot, it wasn’t as hard but it wasn’t easy either. Learning the moves wasn’t hard. The hardest part of moving from quarterback to running back is the blocking. Quarterbacks, they aren’t used to all that contact.
What is this team capable of?
The sky is the limit for this team. We have a lot of returners coming back. The only thing that can stop this team is us.