K-State players say it will be weird playing against Isaiah Zuber
On March 22, 2014, Reggie Walker took to Twitter in Starkville, Mississippi.
A three-star defensive end out of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, Walker was walking the path of his brother Robert, who played for the Bulldogs. Walker picked Kansas State instead, and now he returns to Starkville as a Wildcats captain.
Walker is taking up a larger role for his senior season. Through his first three seasons, he had 110 tackles, 16 sacks and eight forced fumbles.
Last year, Mississippi State came to Manhattan and handed the Wildcats a 31-10 loss. Walker had four tackles, including one for a loss, but he said he doesn’t like to think back to that game too often.
“There was a lot of emotions going,” Walker said. “That’s a year ago, so it’s in the past. ... It hurt because that’s where my brother played, so he always gives me a little something about that.”
So far this season, Walker has only one tackle, but he hasn’t been on the field for much of K-State’s first two games because of lopsided scores. That will change in Week 3.
Walker is among the Wildcats’ best pass rushers, and Mississippi State is not solidified at the quarterback position because of an injury. Walker is poised for a break-out game.
“Every week is an opportunity to go out there and show what you can do,” Walker said. “This is great. I love it. ... Coach always says, ‘It’s a good thing when the defense is sitting down drinking Gatorade.’ “
He will be extra motivated heading into SEC country against Mississippi State. He never received an offer from the Bulldogs despite earning one from Arkansas, Florida, Kansas and others.
K-State coach Chris Klieman didn’t recruit Walker, one of the oldest Bill Snyder signings. But Klieman said he knows Walker is excited to hit the field in Davis Wade Stadium.
“Reggie will have a lot of people down there,” Klieman said. “Reggie is a really competitive guy. I’ve really enjoyed being around Reggie and getting to know him. It’s going to be a big week for Reg.”
K-State has beaten its first two opponents by 87 combined points. Walker said he has liked the physicality of the Wildcats’ defense, but there is something he is still after.
“We do challenge ourselves; we gotta get some sacks,” Walker said. “The front four haven’t gotten any sacks, so we’re still on the racing time bombs.”