Klein making smart move by going to Canada

Evert Nelson | The Collegian

Collin Klein won a lot of football games during his college career. In fact, he will always be considered one of the all-time greats to sport a K-State Wildcat jersey. After staying off the football field for over a year, Klein will now take his talents across the northern border to join the Montreal Alouettes.

The former Heisman trophy finalist inked a two-year deal with the Alouettes, becoming the second big-name American to sign with the Montreal franchise. Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson has also signed with the Alouettes. Notable quarterbacks who proved their worth in the Canadian Football League include Warren Moon, Doug Flutie and Joe Theismann. With that precedent, if Klein hopes to still play in the NFL, the Canadian Football League was a step in the right direction.

Klein went 21-5 during his two full years as a starter for the Wildcats, which included leading K-State to their first Big 12 title in 10 years. Despite gutting out many wins and doing whatever it took, teams were reluctant to take a chance on the quarterback who was labeled to have an awkward throwing motion. The Houston Texans gave Klein a shot, but he did not make it out of rookie camp.

There are some elements in the Canadian Football League that Klein will have to adapt to. The first one being the number of downs. In college football and the NFL there are a total of four downs; in the Canadian Football League, however, there are only three. The significance of this is that there are really only two downs for the offense to convert for a fresh set of downs. That means there is more of an emphasis on throwing the ball, something that NFL general managers questioned that Klein could do. With less time between plays, a larger field and less downs, this could be Klein’s chance to show NFL teams that he can handle an up-tempo offense as well as showing his ability to be more than a running quarterback.

This appears to be a glorified tryout for Klein, who refused to switch positions, to show that he has what it takes to play on Sundays in his home country. That isn’t saying that Klein won’t give it all he has on a day-to-day basis. If there is one thing I learned during my year and a half of covering Klein, it is that he will give 110 percent whether he is wearing a Loveland, K-State or Alouette jersey.

John Zetmeir is a junior in mass communications. Please send comments to sports@kstatecollegian.com.