Thank you so much, and happy to be on the call with everyone. Can’t tell you how excited we are at K-State Football to get an invitation and accept our bid to the Pop Tarts Bowl.
It’s going to be fun to go down to Orlando with our football team. I know K-State Nation is going to travel in droves to Orlando and celebrate a great game for our first Bowl game down in Florida.
I can’t thank Steve Hogan enough and his crew for inviting us, and I know our players are really excited about this opportunity, our families and staff are excited about it. I know our fan base is, and we’ll start getting to work right away and getting our preparations for a really about North Carolina State team.
I’ve got a ton of respect for Coach Doeren, known him for a while, and know they are a terrific team and should be a heck of a game here in late December.
ON AVERY JOHNSON STARTING
Yeah, Avery will be the guy, and you’re right, it kind of is a finish of the 2023 season with all the great seniors that are going to play in this Bowl game.
And then it also is the springboard to the 2024 season with Avery at the helm, and we have got a lot of skilled guys that have been really productive for us and he is going to get that opportunity to be the guy behind center.
I know that I know Coach Klein is really excited to come up with a game plan for Avery, and Avery has earned this opportunity. He’s waited for this opportunity. He’s played good football when we asked him to earlier this year but now it’s his show.
ON DEALING WITH TRANSFERS AND RETURNS
Well, it’s what college football is. You know, everybody has to adapt and adjust, whether you’re stressed by it, frustrated by it, excited by it. It’s just what it is and it’s not just a handful of institutions that are going through it. It’s everybody at all levels. It doesn’t matter if you’re Division III, Division II. I’ve talked to my friends at FCS, the Power Five, there’s coaches changing jobs back-and-forth.
This is the landscape of what we are in in college football and so what excites me is getting these guys together, our team back together on Monday with Coach Tru and our strength coach while we’re on the road recruiting and starting that buildup for that Bowl game.
But yeah, there’s a lot of crazy things going on in college athletics right now.
ON WILL HOWARD
Yeah, I’m going to keep a lot of those in privacy out of my respect for Will. But I’m excited about Will’s future, whether that’s at the NFL next year or at another school. I don’t know what he’s going to decide to do, and I’ll kind of leave it at that.
There’s nothing wrong at all with my relationship with Will Howard. It’s very strong. I love the kid. We shared an awful lot this week when I get an opportunity. I’ve got nothing but respect for him, and appreciate what he’s done for K-State and what he’s done for me and my family, and I believe it’s reciprocated what I’ve done for Will and his family. Nothing but admiration for him.
One thing I know, I want the best for Will Howard.
ON BOWL GAME OPT-OUTS
You know, we’ve kind of met with a lot of our players last week, and I think everybody is really excited about playing one more time together in this Bowl game.
So I don’t have an answer right now as far as that, but I know that we have so many seniors that want another opportunity to play with their brothers, so I’m confident we’ll have a great showing and have most, if not all, of our seniors participating.
ON THE BACKUP QB
Yeah, we haven’t really dove into that. We’re pretty confident that Jacob will be the backup, and he’s going to be a really good football player here.
He ran our scout team this year and I’m excited for Jacob to have that opportunity to work with Coach Klein and be that backup guy.
Then we have a couple of guys that used to be quarterbacks, whether it on our roster or in high school, so we’ll have a good plan for that.
ON HIS FAVORITE POP-TART FLAVOR
Oh, boy. Probably chocolate fudge.