While the Kansas State team barbecue on July 27 included a bevy of 2023 visitors and led to two commitments, there was also an important 2024 visitor in town as well that had a connection to a prior verbal pledge in the 2023 cycle.
That was the brother of cornerback commit Kanijal Thomas, offensive lineman Darreyl Thomas of Del City High, Oklahoma. He’s the second offensive line target in the 2024 class to have a tie to the Wildcats.
Downingtown, Pennsylvania’s Ryan Howard was offered by K-State earlier in the year and is the younger brother of back-up quarterback Will Howard.
Thomas now holds an offer as well, and it caught him by surprise.
“I was in total shock when they [offered] me,” he shared. “I didn’t know what to think.”
Chris Klieman extended the offer to the rising junior offensive lineman.
“[Klieman] told me that when I was at his camp that I wasn’t afraid to step up and that I was one of the best linemen there,” Thomas revealed.
The younger Thomas was at the same camp that the older Thomas was at on June 26.
“The camp was nice,” he pointed out. “The coaches were nice. The players were cool and some of the college people that were there were cool.”
It was also his first time working with offensive line coach Conor Riley.
“[Getting coached by Riley] was great,” Thomas explained. “He was chill and still showed that he is a coach.”
One moment about the visit on Wednesday stood out in particular to Thomas.
“My favorite part of the visit was the water gun fight,” he answered. “The coaches joining in stood out to me.”
His brother is already infatuated with Kansas State since committing, and that included being ecstatic that his younger brother could potentially follow him to Manhattan soon afterwards.
“[Kanijal] was even more happy than me,” Thomas divulged. “He didn’t say anything. He was jumping around and cartwheeling. But he has told me that it is a great place for college and football and a great place to continue my education.”
With K-State being the first to offer, will it give them a leg up on everyone else attempting to lure him to their programs?
“Yes,” Thomas responded. “It will for sure.”