ANALYSIS: Thompson, Youngblood to be deadly duo in upcoming season

Junior quarterback Skylar Thompson passes the ball downfield to freshman wide receiver Joshua Youngblood during the game against Oklahoma at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Oct. 25, 2019. (File photo by Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State football exceeded expectations last season after head coach Chris Klieman took over from long-time head coach Bill Snyder. Under Klieman, the Wildcats delivered an 8-5 season.

The offensive production the team amassed was an eye-opener for many, too.

K-State scored a total of 385 points last season, and senior quarterback Skylar Thompson was responsible for 84 of them — throwing 12 touchdowns. The passing game accounted for only a small portion of the scoring totals, but resulted in high yardage amounting to just over 50 percent of the total offensive yards.

Thompson received 2019 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors.

Now that former wide receiver Dalton Schoen has graduated, sophomore wide receiver Joshua Youngblood will have more room to advance in the charts — hopefully finding himself as a primary target.

Youngblood caught nine passes from Thompson last season for a total of 72 yards. He played in all 13 games, both as a wide receiver and kickoff returner.

Most importantly, he showed off his speed and play-making abilities, earning All-American honors from ESPN and was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. Youngblood led the country with three kickoff return touchdowns, all from conference play.

His All-American honors were the first from a K-State freshman since wide receiver Tyler Lockett in 2011.

Youngblood has also shown some similarities in play as Lockett, which would do him well. Lockett was a dangerous return man and a big play threat when former quarterback Jake Waters was behind the ball.

Thompson and Youngblood will look to have a similar relationship this season.

The Florida native has been able to watch and learn from other wide receivers like Schoen, and sophomores Wakeem Gill and Malik Knowles.

Last November, Schoen noted that Youngblood wasn’t able to do as much in the wide receiver role as he was capable of.

As it is Thompson’s senior season, it is Youngblood’s last year to be able to be catch passes from Thompson, and each of them want to make the most of it.