They came to Kansas State in a bundle, this group.
And when they went out, they did it big. Marquee bowl games. All-Big 12 selections, a Big 12 title and a couple of NFL Draft picks.
So when K-State linebacker Jonathan Truman walks off the field on Friday night at the Alamodome after the Wildcats’ Alamo Bowl showdown against No. 14 UCLA, it will bring an end to an era of stars from the Wichita City League racking up wins for K-State in one of the more successful runs in school history.
Truman, a Kapaun Mount Carmel product, has counted Wichita East’s Arthur Brown, Wichita Northwest’s Chris Harper and another Kapaun product, Tysyn Hartman, among his teammates over the last five years.
All three were All-Big 12 picks, and all three have gone on to have NFL careers. Hartman, a safety, made the team with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Brown was a second-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, the same year Harper was a fourth-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks.
Truman leads K-State with 114 tackles this season.
“First of all, it’s an honor to be named with those guys,” Truman said. “They’re great players and great friends and it’s cool that we’ve all been part of the same ear. But I definitely wouldn’t consider myself the last of anything, because I know there will be plenty of great college football players coming out of Wichita in the future, plenty of guys who come to K-State.”
One of those guys was in San Antonio on Thursday – Bishop Carroll running back Denzel Goolsby, an Eagle Top 11 pick who led the Eagles to their second Class 5A title in three years in November and has orally committed to play for K-State.
Goolsby drove to San Antonio with one of his former teammates, wide receiver Bryce Harvey, who will walk-on at K-State this spring after two seasons at Hutchinson Community College. The two took in Thursday’s K-State pep rally surrounded by 10,000 purple-clad fans.
“It was an awesome thing to see, from the stands and just being able to kind of take it all in,” Goolsby said. “The whole time I was just thinking that I can’t wait to be a part of this family. ... I can’t imagine what game day feels like if this is what a pep rally is like.
“It was good to get a taste of the passion that the fans have for the team.”
Goolsby, like most football fans in Wichita, can reel off the list of Wichitans that have been on center stage for K-State in recent years. Even Truman gave him a shout-out.
“I’ll stay connected with the program, to see who is coming in and how they’re doing and things like that,” Truman said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about (Goolsby) and I’m excited to see what he can do.”
K-State coaches have told Goolsby that he’ll make the switch to wide receiver in college. He’s ready.
“Anytime you have an opportunity to represent your state, to represent Wichita well, you have to go for it,” Goolsby said. “I hope there are kids, some day, that look to me like I look at those guys and say, ‘Hey, he made it out of Wichita, so I can, too,’
“It goes to show you don’t have to be from some huge city to play there. You can be from Wichita, Kan., and make it.”