Klieman said football still in ‘fall camp’ stage of practice

Chris Klieman runs on the field before K-State's football game against Bowling Green in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019. The Wildcats shut down the Falcons with a final score of 52-0. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

Football head coach Chris Klieman said Tuesday Kansas State is still in the fall camp stage of preseason practice.

“We are doing a lot of installations,” Klieman said. “We are still a ways away from being a real season team right now. We are getting good work in. We still have a better part of two weeks in before we play. I’m excited, because [the players] are practicing hard.”

The players take COVID-19 tests every Wednesday as students return to Manhattan from around the country. There have not been any positive tests in the last few rounds of testing, Klieman said.

Senior defensive back Jonathan Alexander opted out of playing this season due to COVID-19. Klieman said a few more players informed the coaching staff they will be opting out as well, but the announcement of the names will be at a later date, Klieman said.

“We are going to support those decisions,” Klieman said. “We have got to move forward with the [players] that are going to participate and play, and we are still going to support the players [that opted out] with the stuff they need from the academic center and things of mental health and athletic training. The NCAA has said that this year doesn’t count, and so if they opt-out of a year that doesn’t count we still have to take care of them.”

With everything that COVID-19 brings, the seniors are still able to maintain their focus on the season.

“[Skylar’s] focus is — as well as every other senior — is on playing this year and not worrying about something that isn’t in your control,” Klieman said. “A lot of the seniors are saying, ‘Hey, let’s just focus on this year, and play as much football as we can.’ Us staff hasn’t talked about it. It is just a blur right now with the amount of practice and meeting time that we have had with ourselves. It isn’t an area we have hit on yet.”

K-State opens play against Arkansas State on Sept. 12 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.