What's buzzing:

Snyder prepares for another spring game at K-State

AP - Sports

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- His voice still carries the same monotone quality. The verbiage about ''youngsters'' and the need to constantly improve has never changed. Even the tennis shoes are the same as always.

As he approaches his 75th birthday this fall, Bill Snyder is preparing for another season at Kansas State. And like a rite of spring in the picturesque Flint Hills, Snyder will be leading the Wildcats onto the field on Saturday for their annual spring game.

''I really do think about the fan base when I go on the field,'' Snyder said this week. ''You think about the little children that line the walkway going out of the locker room and you see those youngsters and you see how emphatic they are and their appreciation for the players when they come out. To me, that has to be inspiring for a young guy.

''I think about those things,'' Snyder said, ''but I also think about if we are ready to play.''

Yes, Snyder may be a bit more reflective these days. He's been at this since 1988, after all, when he took over one of the worst programs in college football history. But rejuvenated by that brief retirement a few years back, he seems as spry and driven as ever before.

So while he may soak in the atmosphere in the stadium that bears his name, he will also be looking closely at a number of players and position groups as the Wildcats wrap up spring ball.

Here are five things that Snyder will be looking for:

- Competition. Snyder had not decided early in the week the exact format for the spring game, but he was leaning toward the top offense and defense playing against the No. 2s. Regardless, he wants to see competition throughout the lineup as the Wildcats seek to build up some depth.

''We have some solid guys coming in, playing, and we have a lot of young faces,'' offensive lineman B.J. Finney said. ''So just putting them in a game-like scenario is going to show a lot, and how they work in kind of a light pressure situation.''

- The Daniel Sams Project. After alternating at quarterback with Jake Waters last season, the versatile Sams asked to move to wide receiver, where he could get on the field more. If he is able to transition quickly to his new position, he would give Kansas State's offense another wrinkle.

''He understood all the schemes, so he knew assignments for wide receivers,'' Snyder said. ''What he did not understand was the execution and how to go about it. That is what he is learning right now, and it is a work in progress, but we're giving him the opportunity.''

- Backup quarterback. Now that Sams has changed positions, the battle is on between Joe Hubener and Jesse Ertz to be the backup to Waters, now firmly entrenched as the starter.

''They are both in the learning stages and have a ways to go,'' Snyder said.

- The next John Hubert. The longtime starting running back graduated, leaving a perilous lack of experience at the position. DeMarcus Robinson, a senior, has been limited by nagging injuries but remains the front-runner, while sophomores Jarvis Leverett Jr. and Charles Jones are angling for time. The wild card is Dalvin Warmack, a highly touted recruit who will arrive this summer.

''We have been moving people around a lot, especially on offensive line and then receivers to see who can do what,'' Jones said. ''We have a lot of new faces.''

- Keeping the momentum. The Wildcats won six of their final seven games a year ago, the lone loss coming against Oklahoma, and routed Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. With most of their top players returning, they expect to contend in the Big 12 this season.

''We need to realize that nobody cares about what you did last year,'' defensive end Ryan Mueller said. ''It's all about now, playing the best you can now, and proving you can do it again.''

View Comments (1)
  • Lakers beat 76ers 113-111 in OT on Clarkson's basket

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jordan Clarkson scored 26 points and made the tiebreaking basket with 0.7 seconds left in overtime to lift the Los Angeles Lakers past the Philadelphia 76ers, 113-111 on Monday night in a matchup of two of the NBA's worst teams. … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Police: Missing college athlete died on Los Angeles freeway

    A University of California, Berkeley, soccer player who disappeared after leaving a weekend party was killed by a car as he ran across a Los Angeles freeway, police said Monday. The 19-year-old freshman, Eloi (eh-loy) Vasquez, died early Saturday … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago
  • Smoak, Valencia and Colabello homer, Blue Jays beat Oberholtzer and the Astros 7-4

    Danny Valencia, Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak homered in the first two innings off Brett Olberholtzer, and Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 7-4 Monday night. Oberholtzer, pitching for the first time since straining a lat muscle on March … More »

    The Canadian Press - 11 minutes ago
  • Australia players awarded national contracts

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia named the following 19-man list of nationally-contracted players on Tuesday. George Bailey, Michael Clarke, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan … More »

    Reuters - 23 minutes ago
  • QMJHL Roundup: Kennedy, MacCallum lead Islanders to Game 3 win over Phoenix

    CHARLOTTETOWN - Bradley Kennedy scored one goal and set up two more and Daryl MacCallum made 30 saves as the Charlottetown Islanders downed the Sherbrooke Phoenix 5-2 on Monday in Game 3 of their first-round Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff … More »

    The Canadian Press - 24 minutes ago