Fitzgerald, Banks sign free-agent contracts

Two former Kansas State football players signed free-agent contracts with NFL teams today.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald, a defensive lineman who led the Wildcats with seven sacks last season, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brandon Banks, a wide receiver/return specialist, landed with the Washington Redskins.

Both were standout players for the Wildcats, but neither heard their name called in last month’s NFL Draft. Nonetheless, they will each now have the chance to make a professional roster.
Read More »

K-State hands out 2009 football awards

Daniel Thomas, Jeffrey Fitzgerald and Corey Adams were the biggest winners at the Kansas State football team’s annual awards ceremony on Sunday.

Thomas was named the team’s offensive MVP, Fitzgerald the squad’s defensive MVP and Adams the top special teams player.

There were many winners on the night, though. Here’s a list of them:

Overachiever Award (top freshman in strength and conditioning) – Braden Wilson (FB)

Red Raider Award (top contribution on scout squad) – Sammuel Lamur (QB)
Read More »

Banks earns top Big 12 special teams honor

Of the seven Kansas State football players who received individual honors from the Big 12 Conference on Tuesday, Brandon Banks was the biggest winner.

The senior wide receiver/kick returner was named Special Teams Player of the Year, making him the first Wildcats player to earn the honor. The last time K-State produced a Big 12 Player of the Year was in 2002 when Terence Newman took home top defensive honors.

Other 2009 K-State honorees, voted on by Big 12 coaches, included junior running back Daniel Thomas, who was named Offensive Newcomer of the Year, first-teamers Jeron Mastrud and Nick Stringer, and honorable mentions Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Tysyn Hartman, Joshua Moore and coach Bill Snyder.
Read More »

Looking back at the football season

After starting 3-1 in the Big 12, playing Oklahoma tough on the road and beating Kansas at home, it’s hard to believe the season is already over for the Kansas State football team.

In Bill Snyder’s return to coaching, the Wildcats improved as the season went along, showed incredible toughness following a lopsided loss at Texas Tech and brought excitement back to the gridiron before finishing with a 6-6 record.

K-State got better in several aspects this season, and when Missouri and Nebraska were playing sub-par football while the Wildcats were sitting all alone atop the North standings, it really looked they were going to win the division.

But as it turned out, they were simply the first North team to get its act together.

Snyder and his tireless work ethic gave K-State an early jump on the field, but once Nebraska found its groove and took down Oklahoma, the Cornhuskers became the team to beat in the North.
Read More »

This week’s player to watch: senior defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald

Jeffrey Fitzgerald

Ever since Jeffrey Fitzgerald accepted coach Bill Snyder’s mid-season challenge and became one of Kansas State’s vocal leaders, the Wildcats have looked completely different on the defensive line.

Up front, K-State is now able to rush the quarterback and force turnovers on a consistent basis. In its last two home games, K-State recorded 10 sacks and forced 10 turnovers.

Fitzgerald alone has five sacks against conference opponents this season and one interception return for a touchdown. Continuing that type of play will be key against Kansas.
Read More »

Gameday Preview: K-State at Oklahoma

Oklahoma is ranked and Kansas State is not. Oklahoma is a 28-point favorite and Kansas State is not. Oklahoma is playing at home, where it has won a nation’s best 27-straight games, and Kansas State is not.

On the surface, this game is a mismatch.

But, at 5-3, the Wildcats do own a better record than the Sooners. Having won their last two games, they are also riding a longer winning streak than Oklahoma.

They are little things that won’t mean much once the game starts, but they have given K-State a jolt of confidence.
Read More »

Postgame: K-State 20, Colorado 6

The fans were happy but Bill Snyder was angry.

Even with his team having just defeated Colorado 20-6 — and maintained its position atop the Big 12 North standings in the process — on Saturday at the stadium that features his name, he saw an offensive effort so poor that he couldn’t be happy.

Most reporters were a little shocked by his anger. Sitting at 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big 12, especially with Nebraska and Kansas losing, puts K-State in a fantastic position to win the division. If the Wildcats win their final two home games, odds are they will win the division.
Read More »

Postgame: K-State 62, Texas A&M 14

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder said he didn’t see this coming. A better effort? Sure. Overall improved play? Yeah, that was possible. A win? Totally within reach.

But a 62-14 pounding of Texas A&M a week after the Wildcats themselves were on the wrong end of a 66-14 score at Texas Tech? No, he couldn’t have predicted that.

As he said in the postgame media interview, if he could predict the future, he’d be working “in Vegas.”

The few people out there who figured K-State could beat A&M by a massive amount of points are likely wishing they could reverse time and go to Vegas today. In one of the biggest turnarounds you will ever see, the Wildcats went from losing to a Big 12 south team by 52 points to beating one by 48. That’s a 100-point difference.
Read More »

What we’ve learned about K-State football

We’re midway through the football season, and Kansas State is right about where most preseason predictions had it at 3-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

With six games remaining, there’s a lot that could still happen. But after six games, here’s what we’ve learned:
Read More »

Postgame: K-State 49, Tenn. Tech 7

When a win comes as easily as Kansas State’s 49-7 rampage over Tennessee Tech did on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium, there are inevitably two ways to look at it.

You can walk away heavily impressed by the Wildcats’ big victory. Or you can walk away laughing at the poor play of the Golden Eagles.

But seeing as how Kansas State scored more points than it had all season in this game — and it did so with top playmakers Daniel Thomas, Brandon Banks and Carson Coffman watching from the bench for the final 25 minutes of the second half — the Wildcats did more than enough to deserve praise.
Read More »