Kansas State Football: Conference should be the apple of Wildcats eye

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(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Returning talent should allow the Kansas State football program to vie for the 2018 Big 12 Conference Title. That should obviously be the goal for the Wildcats.

After barely reaching the postseason in 2017, the upcoming 2018 season should look much different for Kansas State football. The entire offensive line returns intact this season headlined by tackles Scott Franz and Dalton Risner.

The defense returns a vast majority of the starters and depth save for the linebacker position. Quarterbacks Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson appear to both be healthy, as does head coach Bill Snyder.

With so much change encompassing other teams in the conference, there is no reason why the Cats shouldn’t expect to find themselves in Dallas on December 1st. That’s the hope at least.

Where will Cats do well?

Returning experience and a lot of it.

As mentioned above, the entire offensive line returns healthy for 2018. For a team that runs the ball more then anyone in the Big 12, this is important.

Dalton Risner will hear his name called during the 2019 NFL Draft and Scott Franz likely in 2020. Running backs Justin Silmon and Alex Barnes provide an experienced combo behind the quarterback tandem of Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson. Wide receiver Dalton Schoen returns from injury to pair with Isiaiah Zuber along with Isaiah Harris and Chabastian Taylor to provide pass catching options.

On defense, Reggie Walker and Trey Dishon return along the defensive front to pair with Kyle Ball, Bronson Massie and the back end of the Wildcat defense is headlined by cornerback Duke Shelly and safety Kendall Adams. Deznzel Goolsby, Jonathan Durham and AJ Parker have all played significant snaps and provide quality experience and depth.

The Wildcats must replace all their starting linebackers, but do so with Elijiah Sullivan and likely a group including transfers Da’Quan Patton and Eric Gallon, along with veteran Justin Hughes and Sam Sizelove. While there may be a limit to the starting experience, Sullivan, Hughes and Sizelove all have experience.

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