The Kansas State football team will hold its annual spring game at 1:10 p.m. Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium. Tickets are $5. The game will not be televised, but it can be viewed online through K-State’s athletic website. Here are five things to watch:
1. Backup QBs get their day
Starting quarterback Jesse Ertz will not participate in the spring game while he recovers from shoulder surgery, which means fans will get an extended look at Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson. Delton is expected to start with the first-string offense after filling in as the top quarterback throughout spring practices. He played sparingly last season, but Bill Snyder likes what he has seen from him since. Earlier this week, he said Delton is nearing the point where he can compete with Ertz for playing time. A gifted runner, Delton will finally get the opportunity to show off his arm.
Fans will also be eager to see Thompson. The redshirt freshman is expected to start with the backups, but may see some time with the first unit. Thompson arrived in Manhattan as a touted recruit and shined on K-State’s scout team last season. He is thought to be the best pure passer on the roster.
2. Linebacker competition
Snyder says Trent Tanking, Sam Sizelove and Jayd Kirby have been K-State’s top three linebackers this spring, which could give them the inside track for starting spots next season. But newcomer Da’Quan Patton has also turned heads in practice. The spring game may give us a better picture of where each player stands in the position battle before Daniel Green and other incoming recruits arrive this summer.
3. So many running backs
You’ve seen what Alex Barnes can do. You know Justin Silmon can move the chains. Dalvin Warmack’s speed and shiftiness shouldn’t come as a surprise. But K-State’s depth at running back doesn’t end there. Though Barnes and Silmon figure to compete for a starting spot next season with Warmack handling scatback duties, the Wildcats’ backfield has other players to watch. Mike McCoy, a redshirt freshman from Topeka, has impressed teammates with his bruising running style. Tyler Burns, a redshirt freshman from Wichita, is one of the fastest players on the team. Both McCoy and Burns could get some chances to show off on Saturday.
4. New starters in secondary
Dante Barnett and Donnie Starks leave two holes to fill in K-State’s secondary. Who will get first crack at those starting spots? We will find out Saturday. Snyder said Sean Newlan and Denzel Goolsby have been competing for playing time at safety. It will be interesting to see who plays the most at slot corner. Junior-college transfer Elijah Walker is expected to help when he arrives this summer.
5. Spring game hero
Last year it was Joe Hubener. Before that, it was Robert Rose, Judah Jones and Carson Coffman. It seems like every spring at least one unsung K-State player comes out of nowhere and has a huge day. Who will it be this year? Perhaps the better question is: does it matter?
“I don’t believe in that thing they talk about with players that show up on game day,” Snyder said. “I believe in the other aspect of it. I believe it is what you do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that prepares you the best and makes you a part of a team process more than the guy who doesn’t do much during the week and then shows up and plays.
“When we scrimmage Saturday I will assess that no differently than any of our other practices.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett
Kansas State Spring Football Game
- When: 1:10 p.m. Saturday
- Where: Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan
- Radio: 1480-AM, 102.5-FM, 107.9-FM
- TV: None