Tuesday, October 6, 2015

FB Wilson plays key role for Cats

For Kansas State, senior Braden Wilson is more than just another hard-nosed fullback.

Since his freshman year in 2009, Wilson has played a critical role in blocking for the K-State offense.

From running back Daniel Thomas in 2009-10 to current quarterback Collin Klein, each season Wilson has helped pave the way for a teammate to become a 1,000 yard rusher.

This season, maybe Wilson will block for a pair of 1,000 yard rushers, including running back John Hubert.

Despite being one of the most talented fullbacks K-State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) has produced, Wilson lets nothing go to his head, and keeps a team-first mindset going into every game.

“We’re a very team-orientated group,” he said. “We don’t really have any individuals who are just looking out for their own, so if what we need to do is block for Collin then we’ll block for Collin all day, it’s not a problem for us.”

Though Wilson is a blocker first, the Smith Center native has 31 receiving yards and 12 rushing yards this season, including a touchdown against Missouri State.

“I’m doing everything I can to help the team,” Wilson said. “My number one goal is to win the game, other than that I’ve never been really big on statistics.”

Teammate Chris Harper had a lot to say about Wilson and his significance to this year’s squad.

“He’s sums up what our team is all about,” Harper said. “He’s the number one fullback in the nation and he doesn’t get any credit from anybody.

“I don’t know if people understand that — on all the draft boards he’s the number one fullback in the nation. He’s, like, the for sure draft pick on our team and yet he goes under the radar every week, and it doesn’t bother him. He goes out there and does his job.”

Sophomore receiver Curry Sexton said Wilson is just one of those guys that every team needs, the “glue guy” the “toughest guy in the world.” The 6-foot-4, 256-pound Wilson is clearly one of the last people anyone would want to get in the way of on a football field.

“If you look on top of his helmet, it looks like it’s been just beat to hell, and that’s just a testament to the way he plays the game,” Sexton said about Wilson.

“That’s just Braden. Braden loves to hit, and that’s important for our offense. That’s important for our team because, obviously, if a linebacker lines up and sees Braden coming at him, that’s a little intimidating.”

The third-ranked Wildcats host Texas Tech on Saturday in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on FOX.

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