This week’s player to watch: Jeff Fuller

Jeff Fuller could have entered the NFL Draft last spring and found himself playing on Sundays this year.

Instead, the senior wide receiver decided to stay at Texas A&M and try to set as many school records as possible. So far, he hasn’t had much trouble in that department.

Fuller sits atop the Aggies’ record books in three major categories. He is Texas A&M’s career receptions leader with 213, career receiving yards leader with 2,786 and career receiving touchdowns leader with 31.

He has battled injuries this season, but they haven’t slowed him down all that much. As a senior, he has grabbed 50 passes for 522 yards and three touchdowns. Along with Ryan Swope, quarterback Ryan Tannehill has two highly reliable receivers to target in the passing game.

If K-State’s secondary is to redeem itself after allowing more than 500 passing yards in back-to-back games, it will need to find a way to effectively defend Fuller.

Looking ahead to gameday: Texas A&M

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. Next up, at Oklahoma State.

Texas A&M is making headlines all across the country today, because it is contemplating a move to the SEC. But let’s, at least for a moment, put aside the topic of conference realignment and take a look at the Aggies’ football team.

A&M is coming off a breakthrough year of sorts, in which it ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, beat both Oklahoma and Texas and played in the Cotton Bowl. Because of a poor start, the Aggies only finished with an 9-4 record, but for a program that has been down in the dumps lately it was a definite step in the right direction.

A mid-season quarterback switch to Ryan Tannehill sparked the strong finish, and the 6-foot-4 senior will start from Day 1 this time around. That, along with Mike Sherman appearing to settle in after three years as coach, has the Aggies ranked in the Top 10 of preseason polls.

With the losses of leading tackler Michael Hodges, sack master Von Miller and a difficult early schedule, Texas A&M may be a bit overrated at this point, but it definitely has the potential to make a run at a second-place finish in the Big 12. It will have to win a lot of tough games for that to happen, though.

One of those tough games could be on Nov. 12 at Kansas State. It’s a game most Aggies fans have probably already circled as a win, but, remember, the last time A&M came to Manhattan it left on the wrong side of a 62-14 beatdown.
Read More »

What John Currie learned from the first conference realignment scare

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to talk with Kansas State athletic director John Currie about what it was like for him dealing with the conference realignment scare of 2010.

How did he handle it? How stressful was that time? What did he learn? Those type of questions.

The conversation came near the end of June, when he was so confident about the makeup of a 10-team Big 12 that he said, “We emerged stronger than ever as a league and we have a great, great future.”

Today, I’m guessing he would say something a little different. Now that the rumblings of Texas A&M plotting a move to the SEC have gone national, there is concern across the Big 12.

A lot of dominoes need to fall in just the right way before panic sets in as it did last summer, when it briefly looked like teams such as Kansas, Missouri, K-State, Baylor and Iowa State would be left without a conference to call home.

This whole act could be nothing more than a bluff from the Aggies, the SEC expanding to 13 doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and there’s a decent chance the Big 12 could survive the loss of A&M and continue as a nine-team league.

Still conference realignment is once again a topic of conversation.

One thing that should help everyone involved this time around, should serious negotiations need to be made, is that they’ve been through this dance before. Here is how Currie remembers it:
Read More »

Postgame: Texas A&M 64, K-State 56

On the day Curtis Kelly finally came through with a big game for Kansas State, Rodney McGruder disappeared.

That wasn’t the only reason why the Wildcats fell to Texas A&M 64-56 on Saturday at Reed Arena, but it certainly was a factor.

Kelly looked like the senior forward everyone was hyping in the preseason. He scored 15 points on eight shots, snared 11 rebounds and blocked six shots. He was a true force inside. Had he been eligible and played like that a few more times this season, K-State may not be in its current predicament.

Add his day on to 21 points from Jacob Pullen and a decent afternoon from McGruder, who has been the Wildcats’ most consistent player all year, and K-State is likely feeling good about a win today. But the sophomore guard was not himself.
Read More »

Wildcats feel for Roland, Texas A&M

When Texas A&M senior Derrick Roland went down earlier this season with a leg injury so horrific that it has been compared to Joe Theismann’s famous break, college basketball players and coaches across the country cringed.

With the Aggies coming to Bramlage Coliseum tonight, K-State basketball coach Frank Martin said his thoughts are still with Roland (a senior guard who is now almost certainly done for the season) and the A&M basketball team.

“My heart goes out to them,” Martin said. “You don’t want to lose a senior. You don’t want to lose a four-year guy. Guys who play the game the right way don’t deserve for those things to happen to them.”
Read More »