June 30, 2006

Wafford must be a leader up front

It's easy to place the blame on Kansas State's ball carriers for the Wildcats' struggles in the running game last season. But in actuality it was the inconsistent, at best, play of the offensive line that was the main cause of K-State's inability to move the ball on the ground. Any improvements made will start with Greg Wafford, K-State's best lineman and Ron Prince's building block up front.

The Story: The Wildcats were young up front last season, and that's not going to change in 2006. K-State could easily start three sophomores, a freshman and Wafford, a senior, when Illinois State visits Bill Snyder Family Stadium for the season opener on Sept. 2.

This year's line actually could be younger than last year's group, which started a senior, junior, two sophomores and a freshman in the 2005 season opener against Florida International. K-State's youthful lineman are now more experienced than they were a year ago, but it's crucial that Wafford, who only has one year of experience at the Big 12 level himself, quickly develops into the leader of the unit.

K-State certainly appears to have the type of players needed at the offensive skill position to succeed, but as we saw a year ago, that talent could be rendered helpless if the line doesn't make some marked improvement.

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