‘I feel really good about us’: Kansas State’s Chris Klieman excited about 2021 season


ARLINGTON, Tex. — Conference media days mark a sort of unofficial start to the college football season. Big 12 Media Days got underway on Wednesday, and Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman was at the podium.

The Wildcats finished their 2020 campaign with a 4-6 record. Klieman enters his third year at the helm.

Here’s part of what Klieman had to say:

Reflection on the 2020 season:

“We had a difficult season last year in a number of respects. But I think if you don’t grow and learn from something it can really overshadow the problems that you had. So we really grew and I learned a lot about myself as a leader.

“Our guys are working really hard. We’ve had a really good spring and an exceptional summer. We have a new strength and conditioning staff.”

Depth at quarterback:

“I feel really good about us going into 2021. It starts off with our quarterback, having Skylar Thompson back. But I also will throw Will Howard into that mix too. Because we have two starting quarterbacks returning and it’s pretty cool when quarterback often times is a position that you either have one or you have none. We have at least two and some other kids who potentially have a chance. “

Consistency on offense:

“Offensive line is returning intact. We played nine guys there. We have a really good nucleus of wide receivers and tight ends that we have the ability to get the football to. We have a pretty good tailback in Deuce Vaughn.”

Needs on defense:

“We lost a couple of really good players on the defensive side that are playing at the next level. Wyatt Hubert, the one who jumps out at me. Where we have to make great strides is on defense. We were not a very good defense throughout the last year. We had a couple of nice moments on defense, but not good enough in this league to be successful.

“That’s something we’re going to work like heck to get shored up. I look forward to the challenge of our guys Jahron McPherson representing our defense. I know he looks forward to that challenge as well.

“We had a really good spring implementing a lot of new defensive kids. Look forward to seeing how that comes to fruition this fall.”

Special Teams:

“Special teams has always been a staple at Kansas State. This year as well. We have a tremendous returner in Phillip Brooks. A really good scheme to try to get him the ball in punt and kick return. We have a really good punter coming back and a good kicker as well.”

Thoughts on upcoming 2021 season:

“So I’m excited about getting back to normalcy. I’m excited about what the 2021 season is going to bring. As always this league is so difficult. Each week we’ve got to try to have great game plans and come up with ways to be successful.”

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