MANHATTAN — Kansas State football's 28-man recruiting class has plenty of familiar faces.
Five, including starting defensive tackle Prizell Brown, were part of the Wildcats' 2009 squad, six are already enrolled, and five others are coming off grayshirt years.
Eight are traditional high school seniors that will join the Wildcats in the summer.
Through all his years of coaching, Snyder said he's never brought in a group like it.
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"It's all over the board," Snyder said. "But anytime you can say you've got 16 of your recruiting class that are right here with you, there's got to be something positive about it."
The returning players — Brown, quarterback Sammuel Lamur, wide receiver Brodrick Smith, defensive backs Terrance Sweeney and Darius Thomas — are included in the 2010 class because their scholarships didn't kick in until this semester.
Of the new arrivals, 16 are high school seniors and seven are junior-college transfers.
"I like the young people that are here," Snyder said.
Recruiting Web site Rivals.com rates the class 62nd nationally.
Leading the way on the high school side are Wichita Northwest running back Demarcus Robinson — the Cats' four-star recruit on the high school list — and Olathe North linebacker Tre Walker.
Robinson, who rushed for 1,711 yards last season, picked K-State over Kansas, BYU, Louisville and Missouri.
At 5-foot-9 and 192 pounds, Snyder compared Robinson to former standout running back Darren Sproles.
"Demarcus is a very quiet young guy," Snyder said. "Very quiet and very humble, he goes about what he does.... What I can appreciate so much about him is that he's a man of his word. He stuck to it when a lot of people came knocking on his door."
In Walker, he sees a dependable newcomer who can fill a variety of holes on defense.
"He's quality in all respects," Snyder said. "He's done so many things athletically in his program. It's not just at the position he plays. He's done good things on special teams, good things on offense, he's played several positions on defense and made significant contributions to his football team."
Five high school recruits — defensive backs Joseph Nonugli and Courtney Thompson, tight end Zach Trujillo, offensive lineman Tomasi Mariner and quarterback Ty Zimmerman — will be eligible to play after taking grayshirts — players who graduated high school in 2009 but did not begin classes full-time until this semester, giving them five seasons to play four.
Snyder said one or two incoming freshmen may be new candidates for grayshirts, but he hasn't made up his mind on who. They likely won't be the two recruits who come to K-State with family ties to the program. Tate Snyder, a linebacker from Manhattan, will soon be playing for both his father and grandfather. His father is director of football operations Sean Snyder.
And quarterback Billy Cosh, of Gambrills, Md., is the son of defensive coordinator Chris Cosh.
Snyder said he likes to bring in athletes from football families, and after coaching his own son in the early 1990s welcomes the new additions.
"Not many people have had the opportunity to coach their son and their grandson," Snyder said. "I will enjoy that immensely."
Snyder also looks forward to coaching a group of junior-college transfers he expects to be impact players.
Adam Davis, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound defensive end from Hutchinson Community College, is the Wildcats' highest-rated transfer.
But Snyder brought in several juco transfers to make sure there will be competition on both sides of the ball. Of the seven juco transfers signed, six are linemen and five weigh 290 pounds or more. None are bigger than Manase Foketi, a 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman from Mt. San Antonio College.
Snyder said he targeted those transfers because size is the most important need K-State addressed.
"More than anything else it is immediate help on the offensive and defensive lines," Snyder said, "with a little bit of depth in both. We can build young guys up, but we need big guys to come in and make a contribution in the early stages of their career."
Surprised by Moore — The way Bill Snyder talked about cornerback Joshua Moore's early departure for the NFL Draft, it didn't sound as if he agreed with the move.
"I don't think he heard anything from the NFL," Snyder said. "He probably heard from somebody else. You know how these young guys are. Somebody gets in your ear and says, 'Make a buck.' "
Snyder said he was surprised by the decision.
"I thought there would be a little more detail in it," he said.
Quarterback speculation — Snyder said he expects Sammuel Lamur, who was K-State's scout team quarterback, to compete for the starting spot next season. Also in the race will be sophomore Collin Klein, senior Carson Coffman, freshman Billy Cosh and possibly Oregon transfer Chris Harper.
Scheduling talk — Snyder isn't thrilled about every aspect of next season's finalized schedule, but he likes that the Wildcats will once again have an open week.
"I don't like the idea of having to play a nonconference game at the end of the schedule," he said. "But that was the price we had to pay for an open date."