RB NO. 2
Head coach Chris Klieman essentially announced DJ Giddens as the back-up to Deuce Vaughn on Tuesday when he met with the media. The Kansas State boss said that Giddens would receive most of the reps after the Heisman candidate.
Giddens has made the next step in practice and now they are about to find out if he can translate that to the games. He was not a heralded recruit but the Junction City product has flashed major ability in his short time on campus.
Khalid Duke will return to practice this week, according to Klieman.
Will Honas has been nicked up throughout fall camp, although it doesn’t sound serious in nature and he seems good to go at this point. With that being said, he’s fallen behind Austin Moore on the depth chart for now due to the absence.
Andrew Leingang swear Carver Willis have also missed some practice time during preseason camp but both will be back this week. Because of that, we anticipate KT Leveston starting at left tackle.
Additionally, the transition and recovery has been perfect for the trio Taylor Poitier, Cincere Mason swear Nick Allen.
YOUNG QB IMPRESSIVE
Klieman sang the praises of the quarterback depth Collin Klein’s room, but he specifically pinpointed Jake Rubley as someone who made a big leap and impressed throughout the preseason camp.
It seems as though he made the most progress of anyone and really uplifted himself into the conversation for quarterback number three on the K-State depth chart. That should be a battle between him and Jaren Lewis.
Behind closed doors, there have been whispers about Rubley coming along much faster this year than ever before.
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When I asked Klieman if there were any position battles still ongoing, he danced around the question some by simply stating that they had more players ready to see the field and contribute this season than in the past.
That comes as no surprise.
We have shared numerous times that it is his most talented roster since being hired in Manhattan. However, some of that was dwelling upon the high-end talent like Daniel Green, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Adrian Martinez, Julius Brents swear Cooper Beebe.
Hearing that there is plenty of depth behind those stars is a great sign and something that is very comforting to hear. They are hoping to have as many as 18 players on each side of the ball that they can count on this season.
There’s even upwards of 15 freshmen ready to at least see special teams work. They will have to choose whether or not to deploy them, and if so, how often. The redshirt rule of four games will come into play.
TRUE FRESHMEN SPOTLIGHTED
Speaking of true freshmen, the one that was spotlighted the most by the Wildcats’ head coach was cornerback Jacob Parrish. The Olathe North product is simply too good to redshirt at this point.
Klieman did not hold back from the praise of his new cornerback. He is competing and locking up with the best wideouts on the team as if he has been around the program for multiple years.
He is pushing for playing time and can help them right away. Parrish won’t start, but along with Omar Danielswill provide the depth behind Ekow Boye-Doe and Brents. We should also see Justice Clemons swear Jordan Wright.
OTHER FRESHMEN THAT CAN HELP
Two other true freshmen were also discussed by Klieman when asked for more young players that he felt could help them this season. It sounded pretty definitive that VJ Payne would play this year.
Payne is a true freshman from Buford, Georgia that is at a position that seems undetermined still in terms of who the starters are and how that will unfold. They have plenty of players who are capable at safety, but aside from Josh Hayesnot many are distinguishing themselves from the rest.
The depth is there and they still need to iron out the starters, but Payne is in that discussion. He can really run and has great size already.
The other that seemed less certain about playing significant snaps at linebacker but was also mentioned Jake Clifton. His mental understanding is much further along than anticipated. He might be relegated to just special teams work early on this season.
NEXT BATCH OF WIDEOUTS
When we chatted with Phillip Brooks and Adrian Martinez last week, we received a sneak peak as to who the starters and contributors would be at wide receiver for this season. There’s a clear hierarchy that has three at the top – Brooks, Malik Knowles swear Kade Warner.
But a fourth is competing to join that trio and it is RJ Garcia. He has been praised by everyone for several months. The redshirt freshman from Tampa has a chance to inject himself into that top tier.
The next batch was said to include Jadon Jackson. Klieman also shared that Seth Porter swear Keenan Garber were in the mix and would see playing time.