K-State’s young, seasoned linemen compete for 2018 starting positions

Then-junior offensive lineman Dalton Risner stands in the huddle during the game against the University of Oklahoma in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Oct. 21, 2017. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team was left out of ESPN’s preseason Top 25 rankings, but Bill Snyder’s Wildcats consistently exceed expectations year in and year out. The solid offensive line attributes to the work ethic of the Wildcats, and there is only room for improvement on the O-line this year.

The majority of the offensive line is returning this season which has made for some good competition in camp. Even the more experienced of the O-line are feeling the pressure.

At the K-State Football Media Day on Monday, senior offensive lineman Dalton Risner talked about how the young players on the team are working hard to earn that starting spot.

Risner said it is enough to make even the most seasoned guys on the team feel uncomfortable and it keeps them fighting and making them better. No spot is guaranteed that benefits everyone on the team.

“I’ve been here for five years, started for four and even I am uncomfortable,” Risner said.

Risner talked about how the defensive linemen are making the offensive linemen better and how it has made for a competitive environment throughout camp. He said the environment at camp is preparing them for what they will see throughout the season.

Junior defensive end Reggie Walker gave the offensive line some praise.

“This line is one of the best in the Big 12, and when this line comes to play, it is going to be a long day for whoever they face,” Walker said.

Walker said when the offensive and defensive lines go at it, you can feel the energy and it makes the entire team better.

Walker said he loves and embraces the competition at camp and feels that it is very important to have as a player. It can only make the whole team better, he said.

The Wildcats will be relying on the experience of the O-line to help the team improve from their fifth-place finish in the Big 12 last season.