Author Archives: Kellis Robinett

Dalton Risner eager to put high school behind him, prove himself at Kansas State

DaltonRisner
Dalton Risner is a busy man.

In the last week, he competed in two events at the Colorado state high school track meet and he gave a Valedictorian speech at his high school graduation. Next up is a trip with friends to a Luke Bryan concert in Louisiana. Then he moves to Manhattan to begin his Kansas State football career on June 1.

He expects that last stop to be the best of the bunch.

“I am really looking forward to it,” Risner said. “For so long, I have been talking about playing college football. I have been interviewed for a whole year about it. It will be nice to finally play and become a part of the Kansas State family. I am excited to go down there and become part of the team and work hard and prove myself.”

Risner, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman, has an interesting story. He lives in the small town of Wiggins, Colo. (population 900) and he had to work to get noticed. His persistence paid off, eventually marketing himself into a coveted recruit with 11 scholarship offers. He comes to K-State as a three-star prospect and the No. 6 rated high school center by Rivals.
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New Kansas State golf coach Grant Robbins says winning championships is his goal

Grant Robbins Grant Robbins said all the standard things when he was formally introduced as the new Kansas State men’s golf coach on Thursday.

He came to K-State from Memphis, his alma mater, in search of a new challenge. His family is excited to move to Manhattan, especially his wife. She is a K-State grad and a Wichita native. He also wants to win championships with the Wildcats.

That’s something most every coach says at his introductory news conference. Everyone aims high. But Robbins is genuinely thinking big. He would never have left Memphis, a school where he spent 11 seasons and reached the NCAA Regionals five times, if he didn’t.

“I was very happy with my previous job,” Robbins said. “I had been there for so long … But this was the perfect fit. I was really happy where I was at, but after sitting down with John (Currie) and seeing what else was going on here it was a very easy decision.”
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Kaleb Prewett ready to play at Kansas State

KalebPrewett The question posed to Kaleb Prewett was simple: Do you want to play free safety or strong safety at Kansas State?

His answer was even simpler.

“I just want to play,” Prewett said. “I could play wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, defensive end … Anywhere they want.”

Anywhere?

“Yes sir,” Prewett replied. “I am a football player. I just love to play the game. In high school throughout my whole career I played a little bit of everything. I played safety, but I spent some time at defensive end and I came down and stood up and played off the edge. I was a wide receiver. I even threw a touchdown pass. I guess I can play all over.”

That confidence will come in handy for Prewett, especially if the 6-foot-2 Blue Springs senior safety ends up helping the Wildcats on special teams as a freshman next season.

Still, he has higher expectations than that.

“The Kansas State coaches want everyone to come in and compete for a starting spot,” Prewett said. “That is what I am going to do, and that is what I am preparing for physically and mentally. Hopefully I can go in there and play well and win that starting spot.”
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Elijah Lee has bulked up in hopes of playing on third down as a Kansas State freshman

ElijahLee
Elijah Lee was hard to miss at Kansas State’s spring football game last month. The 6-foot-3 Blue Springs senior linebacker was the only person with an unmistakable flat top and a college-ready body watching from the sidelines.

His hair will be covered by a K-State football helmet next season, but Lee’s rapidly improving physique and talent may help him standout on the field.

“I want to come in and do some pass rushing and help on defense as much as I can,” Lee said. “They want me to be like Justin Tuggle. They don’t have a guy who can rush the passer and play linebacker at the same time. That’s what I could turn into it.”
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Kansas State will lack quarterback depth, potential 2015 starter without Daniel Sams

DanielSams1
Daniel Sams was unlikely to play significantly at quarterback or wide receiver for Kansas State next season. The uncertainty surrounding his playing time was a major reason why the skilled athlete is transferring.

Still, his departure will have a significant impact on the Wildcats’ roster.

K-State will lack quarterback depth next season, as well as a proven option to lead the wildcat formation. Though Sams switched to receiver during spring practices and appeared in the mix for limited playing time at the position, he likely would have remained the top quarterback behind Jake Waters. And he almost certainly would have taken snaps out of the wildcat formation and been involved with trick plays the way he was last season when he amassed 1,259 yards of total offense and scored 15 touchdowns.

Without Sams, K-State will look to Jesse Ertz and Joe Hubener to provide depth behind Waters. That means an unproven quarterback will be an injury away from the field next season. Ertz, a redshirt freshman, was a standout high school passer in Iowa and he has a big arm. But he didn’t do much in last month’s spring game, completing 9 of 13 passes for 43 yards. Hubener, a sophomore, looked better completing 11 of 16 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Neither has played in a regular-season game.
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K-State recruit Malek Harris nears decision

Malek Harris Malek Harris will choose where to play college basketball at 1 p.m. on Sunday at a ceremony at his family’s church.

The touted 6-foot-7 small forward from Orland Hills, Ill, is considering a handful of options, but Kansas State is favored to land Harris over Gonzaga and Virginia Tech.

Harris, the No. 80 player in the Rivals 2014 recruiting class originally committed to Marquette and Buzz Williams, but he began looking elsewhere when Williams left to take over as the head coach at Virginia Tech.

K-State coach Bruce Weber called Harris immediately after and convinced him to take an official visit to Manhattan. The visit went so well that Harris gave a soft verbal commitment to the Wildcats two weeks ago. He also canceled a scheduled visit to Virginia Tech, according to his AAU coach Mike Mullins.

If Harris signs with K-State, he will be the top-rated player Weber has landed in his two-plus years with the Wildcats.

But nothing will be official until Harris announces his college decision on Sunday.

“He enjoyed his visit to Kansas State,” said Mullins, who runs the Illinois Wolves AAU program. “Most official visits tend to be very good, otherwise something is wrong. But he really enjoyed the great family atmosphere. His mom was able to accompany him, and that was key. The first time through he was only looking to stay close to home and help his mom out. This time he was able to look a little further for a college.

“He wanted to wait and announce on Mother’s Day for his mother and his grandmother. They are big supporters for him.”
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K-State Q&A: Collin Klein in the CFL, Dalvin Warmack, Kaleb Prewett, a guess at Bruce Weber’s next starting five and Malek Harris

After a few weeks off, K-State Q&A is back.

There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s go ahead and jump right into your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.


That’s the plan. Knowing Collin Klein, the only thought on his mind when he reaches Canada and straps on a Montreal Allouettes helmet for the first time will be winning the starting quarterback job. He is actually walking into a pretty good situation. Anthony Calvillo, the team’s leading passer last year, retired in January (Yes, I did some CFL research) and his backup is no longer on the roster. Someone new will be taking the snaps this year. But Klein will face competition. Troy Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State, is on the roster. Arkansas State alum Tanner Marsh and former Washington State quarterback Alex Brink will also be in the mix. A lot of it might depend on how quickly Klein can adjust to CFL rules. Everything, even the fields, is different up there. He has until June 14, when he season starts, to figure things out. Hopefully he gets to throw some bombs to Chad Johnson/Ochocinco.
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Kansas State likely returning to Kansas City’s Sprint Center next season for nonconference basketball game against Texas A&M

Rodney McGruder, Jordan Green
Kansas State will likely return to Kansas City’s Sprint Center for a nonconference basketball game against Texas A&M next season.

Texas A&M basketball coach Billy Kennedy told Texas radio station KZNE late Tuesday night that the Aggies have agreed to the game, according to AggieSports.com.

On Wednesday morning, K-State basketball coach Bruce Weber said the Wildcats and Aggies have discussed a neutral-court series, before adding: “Nothing has been confirmed yet.”

Senior associate athletics director Casey Scott said K-State has “initiated a contract for a game in Kansas City.” But the deal has not been finalized.

One possible holdup on the series could be where to play the return game, though Houston’s Toyota Center could be a possibility. Texas A&M played Oklahoma there last season.

K-State played a regular season game at Sprint Center for six straight seasons from 2007-2012, beating Florida, Alabama, IUPUI, Southern Mississippi and Florida A&M. Its lone loss was against UNLV. All six games were played in December.

The Wildcats opted out of a Sprint Center game last year, choosing to play Gonzaga at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena. After that game, Weber said he wanted to schedule a nonconference game at Sprint Center every year and at Intrust Bank Arena every other year.

“That is our mindset,” Weber said then. “We would have done Kansas City this year, but I thought our schedule was hard enough.”
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Kansas State AD John Currie addresses transfer policy

Kansas State athletic director John Currie made his first public comments in response to the university’s decision to deny Leticia Romero a release from her scholarship on Tuesday morning.

Currie shared some general thoughts on K-State’s transfer policy on his Twitter account after ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas ramped up his criticism of K-State for the way it handled the situation.

Over the span of five tweets, Currie wrote the following:

“National transfer issues are complex/need reform. Student privacy prevents discussion of individual student issues. As AD I have an obligation to all our (student-athletes) and institution to ensure department and university procedures are followed. Generally speaking, on RARE occasions that we have denied a student-athlete transfer release it has been because of concerns about outside tampering, undue influence by third parties or procedures not being followed in an honest and forthright manner.”

You can read his tweets individually here.

Early Tuesday morning, Jay Bilas took the following shot at K-State on his Twitter account:


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Reports: Former Kansas State standout guard Mitch Richmond makes Hall of Fame

MitchRichmond The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame won’t announce its newest members until the Final Four begins this weekend, but it appears that Mitch Richmond is headed for an official induction.

The former Kansas State standout guard and six-time NBA all-star is headed for the Hall of Fame along with Alonzo Mourning, according to multiple reports.

Word spread quickly on Twitter late Wednesday night, and fans began sending congratulatory messages to Richmond.

Richmond played two seasons at K-State, averaging 20.7 points and six rebounds. Under then coach Lon Kruger, he guided the Wildcats to two NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Elite Eight in 1988. His jersey now hangs from the rafters at Bramlage Coliseum.
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