It is time to recap the season and analyze the Wildcats, position by position. We have already tackled the quarterback and running back spots in previous editions. Now it is onto the tight ends and fullbacks.
REGULAR SEASON PERFORMANCE
The best way to describe the 2021 season for the tight ends and fullbacks and the bowl game that actually occurred in 2022, is uneven.
Daniel Imatorbhebhe produced a few big plays, but he was unable to play a couple times and also limited in snap counts most of the time, too. Samuel Wheeler splashed once, especially against West Virginia, but was largely non-existent, or at best, inconsistent.
Nick Lenners continued to be a viable blocker. Konner Fox was injured for most of the season and never found his footing afterward. Will Swanson saw the field for the first time, but he didn’t necessarily leave a mark.
Fullback was much of the same. Mason Barta saw his snaps disappear quite a bit and Jax Dineen had some good days and some bad days. Christian Moore saw the first four games of his career.
Imatorbhebhe’s eligibility expires and Lenners isn’t expected to return to Manhattan. The only other player’s whose status is up in the air and undetermined by KSO is fullback Mason Barta.
The expectation would be that he moves on from the football program, but it hasn’t been confirmed.
Because of that movement, they probably are still fine at fullback, especially since Ben Sinnott has emerged and is likely a strong candidate to be issued a scholarship, anyways. But tight end is a bit weaker.
The three returners have yet to prove much on the field. If more reinforcements aren’t added much the same way they were the prior two seasons, they’ll be relying on a trio of Swanson, Wheeler and Fox.
***Subscribe to K-StateOnline by clicking here***
Talk K-State football and basketball in the largest, most active K-State message board community anywhere, The Foundation.
PEEK INTO THE FUTURE
The first thing to address is to give the position a coach and top voice for the room. They maneuvered through preparation for the Texas Bowl without one after Jason Ray was relieved of his duties.
He was replaced by Brian Lepak on an interim basis. Lepak will be a strong contender to be given the permanent role, but we’re told that other suitors will also be considered before Chris Klieman makes his ultimate decision.
Beyond that, it’s the tight ends that need addressed. It has to be a great offseason of development for Wheeler, Fox and Swanson and they should likely keep their eye on the transfer portal as well.
They’ve had success going that route, with Briley Moore and Imatorbhebhe.
Remember, they do have two high schoolers rolling in, too, in Brayden Loftin and Garrett Oakley.