Daniel Sams will be missed.
That was the sentiment of Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder expressed Wednesday evening at the Wichita Marriott at the latest of 32 stops on the Catbackers tour across Kansas.
Before addressing a sold-out room of more than 300 purple-clad supporters, Snyder lamented the fact that the Big 12’s leading rushing quarterback has transferred and will not be a weapon for the Wildcats when they open the season Aug. 30 against Stephen F. Austin.
“I certainly don’t like the fact that we lost him,” Snyder said. “He’s a quality player, I think we all know that. He adds an awful lot to our offense. Quarterback is a position you need quality depth, not just depth, quality depth. So yeah, we’ll miss him.”
The event featured a catered dinner, a silent auction, plenty of guest appearances from former and current Wildcats, and speeches from Snyder, men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber and women’s basketball coach Jeff Mittie.
The biggest cheer from the crowd was reserved for Snyder, but true to form, he was tight-lipped on any developments this summer.
Asked by a reporter if he expected all 10 junior college transfers, including highly-touted prospects like defensive tackle Terrell Clinkscales and linebacker D’Vonta Derricott, to be on campus in time for fall camp, Snyder declined to speculate.
“I don’t expect anything,” Snyder said. “You kind of wait and see and do all you can to make sure that it happens. Things are on course right now, but that doesn’t mean that’s the way it will end up.”
Replacing Sams on the depth chart isn’t the only issue facing Snyder. He acknowledged there are plenty of other pressing needs that must be addressed this off-season. Like the task of replacing five starters on defense and finding a lead running back.
Those questions remain unanswered for now — Snyder is not allowed to watch summer workouts and relies on second-hand accounts for his information.
“It all depends on who you talk to,” Snyder said. “I think the young guys that I have a lot of faith in the leadership program would tell you that the vast majority of the young guys do a nice job.
“You never know what to expect. It’s been up and down, probably.”
When fans in attendance pressed for answers, Snyder stressed the importance of hard work this summer for the Wildcats.
It’s hardly a new outlook for a Snyder-led team, but that didn’t stop the coach from pinpointing the work done this summer as vital to the upcoming season’s success.
“We’re going to have to have a good summer, quite obviously,” Snyder said. “We’ve got 29 practices before the season starts. We’ve got a chance to develop young guys at positions where we don’t have returning starters at. An awful lot of whatever degree of success we have will be dependent on that.”