Fiesta Bowl Countdown: Kyle Klein impressing coaches during bowl practices

Throughout his time at Kansas State, Kyle Klein has been known best as Collin’s younger brother.

That may always be the case, but Klein will be able to make a name for himself starting next year. Older brother will be gone, pursuing a career in the NFL. Klein will be a sophomore receiver, pursuing a starting spot.

With only Chris Harper and Zach McFall leaving the program, he will face strong competition. But he will be in the mix for playing time behind Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson along with Curry Sexton, Torell Miller, and Deante Burton.

Klein saw playing time this season, but didn’t receive many targets. He didn’t catch a single pass.

At the least, that will change next season. Klein was still adjusting to the position this season. Since joining the K-State program, he has spent time at defensive end, tight end and receiver. He played practically every position, including quarterback, for his high school football team and prides himself on being versatile. Still, he needed time to fully grasp K-State’s offense as a receiver.

Now that he feels more comfortable, his coaches are expecting big things.

“He is having a great bowl prep,” co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel said. “He is really starting to make some strides. I’m paying a lot of attention to what the young guys are doing. Kyle has made a lot of nice plays. He’s just like Collin. He is learning how to play his position. He is getting a lot better. He brings length to that position. We want to throw the ball downfield and he allows us to do that.”

Receivers coach Michael Smith also likes Klein’s progress.

“Kyle has come a long way,” Smith said. “He was a defensive end, then a tight end, now a wide receiver. But he has sculpted his body down to 205 and he still runs like a gazelle. He is one of those guys that will be in the mix to compete for a starting job and that is good for us as a unit. That competition is going to bring out the best in whoever becomes the starter.”

Collin Klein is looking forward to seeing what his younger brother can do when he leaves. He has seen him make plays in practice, and says he has become one of the fastest players on the roster.

Kyle Klein hasn’t had many chances to show off his skills yet, but he is confident is day is coming.

Next up on the countdown: Former K-State players finding success in the NFL gives current players high hopes they can do the same.

Last time on the countdown:Q&A with Dana Dimel.

Editor’s Note: On Jan. 3, the Kansas State football team will face Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. With that in mind, I am counting down to the big game at University of Phoenix Stadium by attempting to write 21 blog posts in 21 days. I use the word “attempting” because I can only think of so many blog ideas. I’m confident that I can go 21 for 21, but your help is appreciated. Feel free to send a blog idea (or two) my way at or via twitter @KellisRobinett.