Just 25 days separate Kansas State and Stanford from clashing at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 4. With game day just around the corner, the Collegian looks at the two players wearing No. 25 — Ekow Boye-Doe and Gabe Hoover.
Ekow Boye-Doe is a 6 foot, 170-pound junior defensive back from Accra, Ghana. Boye-Doe spent his high school days in Lawrence, playing for Lawrence High School. Despite being closer to KU and receiving an offer from the Jayhawks the day after receiving an offer from K-State, he decided to make the hour and a half trip down I-70 and commit to K-State.
Boye-Doe also received offers from Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Tulane. Across all major recruiting outlets, Boye-Doe was ranked inside the Top 10 in terms of the top talent in Kansas. He was ranked third by 247Sports, fourth by Rivals and sixth by ESPN.
Upon arriving in Manhattan, Boye-Doe decided to redshirt for his initial season with the Wildcats.
As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Boye-Doe saw plenty of action on the field, mostly on special teams. Playing in seven games, Boye-Doe made one tackle on the year as a reserve defensive back against Nicholls State.
That was just the start for Boye-Doe, with his best season happening in 2020. The defensive back started in eight Big 12 games, making five tackles in his first-ever start with the Wildcats against No. 3 Oklahoma.
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Those five tackles were a part of a 25 tackle season that included seven pass breakups and one tackle for loss. At the end of the season, he was ranked 11th in the conference in passes defended. Plays like the one shown below make it easy to see why.
This is just an exceptional play in space by Ekow Boye-Doe. Doesn't panic, gets his head around and pokes free the pass. #KStateFB pic.twitter.com/wnCbA1LdsC
— Mitchel Summers (@WIBWMitchel) October 10, 2020
With defensive back Julius Brents out at the moment — although unlikely to be anything long-term — Boye-Doe has gotten more reps in practice heading into the season.
“[Julius Brents being out] has enabled Reggie Stubblefield, Ekow Boye-Doe, Tee Denson, Justin Gardner to take all the reps, and those guys are getting a bunch better,” head coach Chris Klieman said at his press conference on Tuesday. “I’m excited because guys like Ekow and Tee [Denson] that made some splash plays, but the consistency maybe wasn’t there last year. Those kids are playing at a much more confident level.”
Next on the countdown is the 6 foot, 189-pound sophomore wide receiver out of McPherson, Kansas, Gabe Hoover. Hoover played at McPherson High School before walking on at K-State.
In his junior and senior seasons with the Bullpups, Hoover scored 27 touchdowns, racking in 121 catches for 1,856 yards. His high school career capped off in 2018 with an 11-1 season that saw him and the Bullpups reach the state semifinals.
G HOOV 🙌 TD, West
West ❇️ 6
East 🔴 0#VKscores@GreatBend_FB’s @KoyBrack hits @MHSBullpups’ @gabehoover25 who slices into the end zone. pic.twitter.com/wnzvArCEdr
— Hayden Kyle Barber (@HK_Barber) June 9, 2019
All tied up here in McPherson! @MHSBullpups Kyler Hoppes connects to Gabe Hoover to tie the game at 6 with 1:24 left in 1Q #vkscores pic.twitter.com/SAOY2RkZhm
— Grant Cohen (@gforce4preach) November 18, 2017
Although Hoover hasn’t seen action on the field after redshirting in 2019 and not playing in 2020, he hasn’t gone unnoticed. Hoover earned the tough Core Value Award during the week of June 24 and was named a Scout Team Player of the Week during the week of Nov. 4, 2019.
Core Values Awards of the Week
Committed ➡️ Reed Godinet
Disciplined ➡️ Cody Stufflebean (@Cstuffs_4)
Selfless ➡️ Daniel Green (@Only1_Deuce2)
Tough ➡️ Gabe Hoover (@gabehoover25)#KStateFB pic.twitter.com/phWdR6ejfj
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) June 24, 2021
Scout Team Players of the Week ⤵️
Offensive: @chris_herron19 and @Ollen_4
Defensive: @JoeFlax and @strahm_elliott
Special Teams: @CoomesKirk and @gabehoover25
#KStateFB ⚒ Pound The Stone pic.twitter.com/RSTunPkN1Z
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) November 5, 2019