For the first time in four years there will be no Ty Zimmerman in the back of the defense for the Kansas State Wildcats. Zimmerman started at the safety position ever since he was a freshman. He was been a major part of the success for K-State but the last two season has fallen due to serious leg injures. Zimmerman had 55 Tackles and 3 Interceptions last season.
Ok, turn the page to this season where there are a lot of new faces at this part of the defense. There is not a whole lot of experience at
cornerback, but things are better at the safety position where Dante Barnett and Dylan Schellenberg return for this season.Schellenberg played a lot late in the season last year in place of Zimmerman.
Out of all the defense, this is probably a group that will have to adapt quickly before the third game of the season…that’s when the Auburn Tigers come calling to Manhattan.
Junior Morgan Burns brings speed to the position and is probably going to start at one of the spots. Burns to this point has played mostly on special teams. He had some playing time last season not a whole lot.
Burns could be paired up with JUCO transfer Danzel McDaniel. There has been a lot of talk that McDaniel has been impressive so far.
And then there is the experience player in Randall Evans. Evans usually plays in the Nickel package for the Wildcats and should be a force once again. The secondary will need Evans’ 52 Tackles and 2 Interceptions from a year ago if the Wildcats are going to be a force.
Flip side Evans does have a nose for the football. Corner might be the biggest worry the team has.
Safeties (Probable Starters): Dante Barnett and Dylan Schellenberg
Dante Barnett came into his own in his junior season for K-State. Barnett recorded 57 tackles which equals out the third most on the defense and four interceptions. Barnett will no doubt be the leader in the secondary.
Dylan Schellenberg, who was the fill in for Zimmerman, made some huge plays down the stretch for the Wildcats included forcing two turnovers against Kansas. Even though he is up to the task, Schellenberg has some big shoes to fill.
Off the Bench
There is not a lot of depth in the secondary, which is a big concern. Cre Moore, who was impressive in the spring game, could be fighting for some playing time at the corner position along with Nate and Corey Jackson.
Travis Green will be one of the backups at the safety position along with Sean Newlan. The Cats hope that Barnett and Schellenberg don’t get injured. It has shown in the past that K-State struggles without a key members in the secondary. Their young must grow up fast.
Get excited KSU fans! College football is just around the corner!
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