<
>
Insider

Oklahomans making impact for K-State

9/18/2012

Kansas State has made recruiting the state of Oklahoma one of the top priorities for its program. Sophomore Tyler Lockett is one of the Wildcats' most explosive players while other Oklahomans have already make a key impact on KSU's 3-0 start.

A look at the Oklahomans on K-State's roster and how they've fared for the Wildcats:

Defensive back Dante Barnett

High school: Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington

Class: 2012

Impact: After a grayshirt season in 2011, Barnett enrolled in the spring and has one tackle in three games for KSU as a true freshman.

Recruiting rating: A three-star prospect as an athlete, Barnett had a 76 rating from ESPN.com’s Scouts, Inc. when he signed with the Wildcats.

Should the Sooners have recruited him? It’s too early to say but he has good size at 6-foot-1 and 186 pounds, a trait that has become a priority under Mike Stoops, and he’s played his way out of a redshirt season as a true freshman.

Receiver/kick returner Tyler Lockett

High school: Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington

Class: 2011

Impact: Lockett stepped on campus and immediately became one of the top playmakers for K-State. As a true freshman, Lockett averaged 19.1 yards per touch while earning All-American honors as a kick returner (35.19 yards per kick return). He accounted for 315 all-purpose yards against No. 3 Oklahoma State in the Wildcats’ 52-45 loss in Stillwater in 2011.

This season, Lockett is averaging 20.7 yards per touch and was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week after his 96-yard kick return for a score against North Texas last Saturday.

Recruiting rating: A two-star prospect as a receiver, Lockett had a 74 rating from ESPN.com’s Scouts, Inc. when he signed with the Wildcats.

Should the Sooners have recruited him? Absolutely. Because of the threat he is as a kick returner and his knack for making big plays in critical times.

Tight End Andre McDonald

High school: Choctaw, Okla./Choctaw

Class: 2009

Impact: McDonald has played in 27 games as a Wildcat, including four starts. Known as a quality run blocker, the junior has 14 career receptions for 212 yards and one touchdown.

Recruiting rating: McDonald had no rating from ESPN.com.

Should the Sooners have recruited him? Maybe. But only because OU entered this season with no experience at tight end.

Guard Keenan Taylor

High school: Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington

Class: 2009

Impact: Taylor starts at right guard for K-State and has played in 28 games. He played a backup role during his first two seasons with the Wildcats but has helped paved the way for K-State’s running game this season.

Recruiting rating: A two-star prospect as an offensive tackle, Taylor had a rating of 75 from ESPN.com’s Scouts, Inc. when he signed with the Wildcats.

Should the Sooners have recruited him? No. The Sooners have plenty of talent in the interior offensive line.

Receiver Tramaine Thompson

High school: Jenks, Okla./Jenks

Class: 2009

Impact: After a redshirt season, Thompson took over as the Wildcats punt returner as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and started six of their first seven games. His 19 receptions and 258 receiving yards placed him fifth among freshmen in school history. Last season, he started five games and made a key impact as a punt and kick returner.

This season, Thompson leads the team with 13 receptions for 211 yards and three touchdowns in three games. He joins Lockett as one of K-State’s most explosive playmakers.

Recruiting rating: A two-star prospect as a athlete, Thompson had a 74 rating from ESPN.com’s Scouts, Inc. when he signed with the Wildcats.

Should the Sooners have recruited him? Probably. Much like Lockett, he brings special-teams value as a returner and while there’s no guarantee he would have been an impact performer on offense with Ryan Broyles around during his first two seasons, he has made enough plays for the Wildcats that he probably could have found himself a role with the Sooners.

Tight end Zach Trujillo

High school: Edmond, Okla./Deer Creek

Class: 2010

Impact: After a grayshirt season, he’s helped the Wildcats in a backup role and on special teams. The sophomore’s 58-yard reception against Miami (Fla.) was one of the key plays that sparked that blowout win. He’s listed as the backup to Travis Tannahill.

Recruiting rating: Trujillo was a two-star prospect as a tight end according to ESPN.com’s Scouts, Inc. when he signed with the Wildcats.

Should the Sooners have recruited him? Maybe. But only because he could have been the lone experienced tight end on the roster entering the season if OU had recruited him and he wanted to be a Sooner.