MANHATTAN — Freshman quarterback Tavarius Bender enrolled at Kansas State a semester early and played well enough during his first few practices to see significant action during the Wildcats’ spring game, but that is where his K-State career will end.
K-State football coach Bill Snyder announced Monday that Bender is no longer part of the program. Snyder said he returned to his hometown of Lincoln, Neb., a few weeks ago.
"He chose not to be here and dropped out of football altogether," Snyder said during the weekly Big 12 football teleconference.
Bender’s departure shouldn’t impact K-State much in the short term with senior quarterback Collin Klein returning. But Bender was expected to compete with Daniel Sams for the main backup position behind Klein immediately, and the starting spot in future years.
He started opposite Klein with K-State’s second-team offense during the spring game, but played poorly. He completed 2 of 4 passes for eight yards and rushed for negative yardage on two attempts. Still, he was a three-star prospect coming out of high school and Rivals ranked him as the top overall recruit in Nebraska for his class.
Coaches complimented him when preseason practices began earlier this month.
Now Sams and Sam Johnson are competing for the backup quarterback spot.
“There are certain situations in which Daniel would be next in line, there are certain situations where Sam would be next in line,” Snyder said. “It kind of depends on where we are in the ballgame and what the circumstances are. But it would be one of those two right now.”