Glenn Gronkowski is K-State’s new fullback, and he couldn’t be more excited about it

Glenn Gronkowski is an intriguing football player. Everyone recognizes his last name, he has a famous family and he is now Kansas State’s starting fullback as a redshirt freshman.

He is also refreshingly honest.

Case in point: his answer to a question about how much he has learned since arriving in Manhattan and spending a year on the sidelines.

“To be truthful, I wasn’t really paying attention that first year, because I knew I was going to redshirt,” Gronkowski said. “But this last year I have been in and out of this place a lot, watching film, meeting with the coaches as much as I could, learning the playbook and getting it down.”

It shows. Gronkowski began improving the moment he switched gears and realized he could take over for former fullback Braden Wilson in K-State’s backfield. Coaches had nothing but good things to say about him during Fiesta Bowl practices, and Gronkowski had a big spring game.
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 51, Missouri State 9


Kansas State’s 51-9 victory over Missouri State on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium was the closest 42-point victory you will ever see.

At halftime, the Wildcats led 9-6 and everyone feared this could be Eastern Kentucky all over again.

Early in the third quarter, the Bears tied things up at 9-9.

As the clock ran out, it was a blowout.

So how did K-State turn a game that was tied in the second half into the lopsided victory all BCS conference teams hope for on opening night?

Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Postgame: K-State 49, N. Texas 41

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FIVE THINGS THAT WENT WELL
1. K-State escaped Denton, Texas with a win. Sure, it was ugly at times, and the Wildcats needed 49 points to hold off a bad Sun Belt team, but a win at this time of year is a win. Let’s all remember that. K-State finished the regular season with a winning record at 7-5 and will head to its first bowl game since 2006. Both positives.

2. Welcome back Daniel Thomas. It’s been a while since we’ve seen you run like that. Not since you started the season with a big, 234-yard day against UCLA have you found space and picked up huge chunks of yards. After three straight games of receiving fewer than 20 carries, K-State finally treated you like a workhorse runner again and you delivered. A whopping 269 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries is the reason K-State defeated North Texas.
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Snyder daydreams about two-way players

Anytime Bill Snyder says he is curious about something, you have to listen intently.

This week his mind was peaked by the subject of Iron Man football.

Snyder began thinking about the topic when he was asked about defensive back David Garrett, who has proven capable of playing both cornerback and safety.

“There are a lot of players with the capability to do it (play multiple positions),” Snyder said. “It’s just whether or not you really pull the trigger to do it. David’s case may be somewhat different, because you’re not talking about playing offense and defense. But I’ve thought about playing a number of others on both sides of the ball. Thought about it quite seriously.”

Oh yeah? Like who?

“I’m not going to tell,” he replied with a smile.

Fair enough. Snyder can keep that secret to himself. It’s easy to take a guess at who some of those players are, anyway. Earlier this year he said Daniel Thomas would make a terrific safety, so he’s obviously thought about him. And fullback Braden Wilson said he would play both ways in a heartbeat. So I guess he’s on the list too.
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Postgame: K-State 48, Missouri State 24

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After preaching the importance of offensive balance all week, the Kansas State Wildcats proved they could do more than run the ball Saturday.

Carson Coffman passed for a career high 280 yards and three touchdowns. Brodrick Smith grabbed six catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Aubrey Quarles made seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Good numbers all around. Sure, they came against a suspect Missouri State defense, but they were nice to see all the same.

“I feel like I became more comfortable in the success I had out there,” Coffman said. “Just showing myself I could go out there and do it in a real game. I think that was huge for me.” Read More »

Carson Coffman ready to prove himself

For the second straight year, Carson Coffman will start the season as Kansas State’s quarterback.

For the second straight year, he won a multi-player competition during training camp to earn his playing time.

For the second straight year, he will need to prove the doubters wrong.

On the surface, it appears nothing has changed about Coffman in the past 365 days. But he is different.

He has used his past failures as motivation. He has earned the respect of his teammates. He has shown off his funny side. He has a new attitude.

Ask if he is bothered by those who say he will once again lose his starting status midway through the season, and he responds: “They don’t really know what’s going on. To those people out there who are saying that, it gives me motivation to prove them wrong.” Read More »

Position Preview: Running backs

Daniel-ThomasEntering the 2010 football season, there is absolutely no doubt about Kansas State’s situation at running back.

Daniel Thomas is the man.

After leading the Big 12 in rushing last season with 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns on 247 touches, Thomas is a preseason All-American and a candidate for both the Doak Walker and Maxwell awards.

The senior can play quarterback out of the Wildcat Formation, he can plow through linebackers after taking hand offs and he’s a pretty good blocker on pass plays.

As he goes, so goes Kansas State. Everybody knows that by now.

So it wouldn’t make much sense to devote an entire blog post to his domination of the position. Aside from avoiding the occasional fumble on long runs (he lost one or two last season) there is nothing to critique.

Instead, let’s examine his backups and fullback Braden Wilson.
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