Wildcats enter spring practice with new energy


It sounds simple, really.

But it wasn’t. Something was lacking last year from the K-State football program — unity.

The cohesiveness that every team needs to be successful was often times nowhere to be found from Wildcat players and coaches.

“I think as a team, we weren’t as close as we should have been,” said junior Lamark Brown Thursday at the spring football press conference. “I don’t think we understood — it was more split up as offense against defense, as opposed to offense and defense.”

So much of the focus this offseason under coach Bill Snyder has been geared toward the theme of coming together and getting to know others on the roster.

After each workout this offseason, each team member held a deep conversation with another teammate to familiarize themselves with each other a little better.

It’s something Snyder said is a necessity, as he and his staff emphasized some of the intrinsic values he often preaches to his teams.

“My message probably to all the young people in our program or coaching staff was centered around discipline,” he said. “Being a part of what we do as a program and how we can implement that in the out-of-season program — great emphasis was placed on leadership.”

So as spring practice kicked off Sunday, both the coaches and players will look to get to know a little bit more about themselves, but this time on the playing field.

The changes Snyder is implementing have re-energized many in the program and brought back the passion that was lacking in Vanier Football Complex last year.

“The change is phenomenal,” said junior linebacker Josh Berard, who sat out last year due to a knee injury. “The enthusiasm, the speed and the love for football is all back. You used to walk through here and it was kind of dead — we were going through that drought.

“Now it’s like we’re happy to be here, it’s time for practice, ‘Let’s get up, let’s go, we’re happy, let’s get it going, we’re excited, we’re pumped.'”

Brown wanted to make one thing clear: He made the decision this offseason to vacate the running back position and move back to his original wide receiver position.

“I just felt like I fit a bit more into the wide receiver mold than running back,” Brown said. “When Coach Snyder came in, he asked everyone where they wanted to go, and I told him I wanted to go back to wide receiver, so he made the change.”


-Olu Hall, a transfer from Virginia and a senior-to-be at linebacker, is no longer with the team.

-Michael Abana has returned to the Wildcat program after missing last season due to undisclosed reasons. The 6-foot-7-inch, 295-pound defensive end played in all 12 games of the 2007 season, recording eight tackles.

-Junior college transfer Daniel Thomas is not set to arrive until this summer. The 6-foot-2-inch, 235-pound athlete is expected to compete for the starting quarterback position.

-Junior quarterback Carson Coffman was listed atop the depth chart entering Sunday’s spring practice.