KANSAS STATE FOOT­BALL Foot­ball as­sis­tants keep re­cruit­ing as Sny­der de­cides on his fu­ture

The Wichita Eagle - - Sports - BY KELLIS ROBINETT krobi­[email protected]­chi­taea­gle.com

When Kansas State of­fen­sive line coach Char­lie Dickey ar­rived at Trevor Stange’s home for a re­cruit­ing visit on Wed­nes­day, the stresses of the out­side world seemed to fade away.

Stange, a three-star of­fen­sive line­man from Cop­pell, Texas, has com­mit­ted to play foot­ball for the Wild­cats start­ing next sea­son and plans to make an of­fi­cial visit to cam­pus this week­end.

A cloud of un­cer­tainty is cur­rently hang­ing over the K-State foot­ball team as each day goes by with­out a de­ci­sion from long­time coach Bill Sny­der on his fu­ture. But that didn’t stop Dickey and Stange’s fam­ily from eat­ing bar­be­cue and hav­ing a fun evening.

“We talked about what it takes to play up there and what the plan is for me,” Stange said in a phone in­ter­view. “We talked about what po­si­tion I might play, how ex­cited he is to bring some of his starters back and the sea­son they just had. Then my dad and him talked about the old days. They have known each other for­ever.”

Sny­der’s name hardly even came up.

“I didn’t re­ally want to talk about it,” Stange said. “If he wanted to talk to me about it, he would have brought it up. Be­sides, I am not re­ally wor­ried about it. What­ever they do is go­ing to be what is best for the school and I just want to play for the school.”

K-State foot­ball coaches have made sim­i­lar re­cruit­ing pushes across the re­gion this week.

As many wait to hear a de­ci­sion on Sny­der’s fu­ture, K-State’s coach­ing staff is on the road in full force re­cruit­ing like they al­ways do this time of year.

The Wild­cats even mixed things up and sent re­cruit­ing co­or­di­na­tor Tay­lor Braet on the road for the first time.

His job usu­ally lim­its him to on-cam­pus re­cruit­ing, which means he com­mu­ni­cates with foot­ball re­cruits mostly through phone calls and so­cial me­dia, but with one of K-State’s as­sis­tant coaches un­able to re­cruit while deal­ing with a per­sonal is­sue, Braet stepped in.

“Tay­lor is tem­po­rar­ily fill­ing in,” ex­plained K-State se­nior as­so­ciate AD for com­mu­ni­ca­tions Kenny Lan­nou, “which is per­mis­si­ble un­der NCAA rules.”

Braet vis­ited But­ler County Com­mu­nity Col­lege and then caught a plane from Wi­chita to Hous­ton, ac­cord­ing to his Twit­ter ac­tiv­ity.

Else­where, K-State quar­ter­backs coach Collin Klein made an in-home visit with Piper de­fen­sive tackle Cooper Beebe. And de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Blake Seiler and run­ning backs coach Eric Hick­son vis­ited line­backer com­mit Yah­weh Jeudy.

K-State coaches also vis­ited sev­eral un­com­mit­ted play­ers, in­clud­ing four-star run­ning back Daniel Carter.

The Wild­cats will need to re­place at least Dalvin War­mack and Justin Sil­mon in the back­field next sea­son. Mike McCoy’s fu­ture is also un­cer­tain and Alex Barnes could leave early for the NFL. So Hick­son’s visit to see Carter in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. was an im­por­tant one.

Re­cruit­ing hasn’t been easy lately for Bill Sny­der and his staff. The Wild­cats haven’t added any new com­mit­ments since Oc­to­ber and only have eight play­ers lined up for their 2019 class, the sec­ond­low­est num­ber of any power-con­fer­ence team.

K-State doesn’t spend much time re­cruit­ing dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, so it isn’t all that rare to see the Wild­cats play­ing catch up this time of year. But they have been hurt by the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing Sny­der.

It’s not easy to re­cruit when your head coach op­er­ates year to year.

Sny­der’s fu­ture is a hot topic on the re­cruit­ing trail, and each coach deals with it dif­fer­ently.

Some play­ers re­spect their an­swers, know­ing Sny­der is un­able to com­mit to any­thing long term. Other play­ers are less re­cep­tive.

K-State coaches prob­a­bly wish more re­cruits were as ea­ger to play for the Wild­cats as Stange, whose fa­ther, Russ, is a for­mer K-State player. Un­like some high school prospects, he says he will re­main com­mit­ted no mat­ter what Sny­der de­cides.

“Most re­cruits haven’t been Kansas State fans as long as I have,” Stange said. “I grew up pur­ple. The first pic­tures my par­ents ever took me to get, I was sit­ting in­side a Kansas State hel­met. I love the coaches. If (Sny­der) stays, that’s great. If he doesn’t, then hope­fully they keep most of the same staff.”

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