Collin and Kyle Klein, like many siblings, are similar, yet also have their differences. But perhaps the biggest quality they share is that they’re good people, something their teammates can attest to.
“They’re both great guys,” said Travis Tannahill, a senior tight end at Kansas State. “We joke that we all want our daughters to marry the Klein brothers because you know they’ll never be hurt or they’ll never do anything wrong to them.
“The Klein brothers are both class-act guys. We love having them around.”
But how are they different?
“They’re extremely similar in personalities, but Kyle just has a different look on things,” said BJ Finney, the starting center for the Wildcats who also lives with Collin and Kyle. “They’re both genuine, let’s not get that wrong, but Kyle is more the open kind of free spirit and Collin is more this is what I have to do today, this is what I’ve got to get done. Kyle is like that too, it’s just not as strict as Collin is.”
The college football world now knows all about Collin, the Wildcats’ star quarterback. K-State fans hope Kyle, a redshirt freshman on the team, can soon become a trending name nationwide as well.
Kyle, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 217 pounds, has experienced a significant amount of change in just one year’s time. He arrived at K-State expecting to play defensive end, which he did for the majority of the August practices leading up to last season. In late August, he moved from defense to offense to play tight end. Less than three months later, the coaching staff moved him from tight end to wide receiver, a change that is expected to be permanent.
“It’s really been smooth,” Kyle said of the switch to receiver. “I think it fits my skill set a little better. The coaches have been patient and worked with me in going through the different positions — d-end, tight end and wide receiver. They’ve really helped me out. It’s been going as smooth as it could be.”
Collin has helped make the transition as easy as possible for his younger brother, answering any questions he has about the playbook. Though sometimes Collin administers his own questions to Kyle.
“We’ll be sitting at breakfast at 5:30 in the morning getting ready to come up to weights,” Kyle said, “and he’ll throw out a random play: What does X have? What does W have? What does R have? What does Z have? He’s helping me out.”
But Collin said Kyle doesn’t need much help when it comes to learning everything the offense entails.
“He’s smart, he’s very smart,” Collin said. “He picks things up really fast. I just try not to get in his way most of the time. He’s doing well. He’s learning very fast. I’m there helping and answering some questions but he’s going to be just fine.”
Kyle, who caught 47 passes for 853 yards during his senior year at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colo., gives the Wildcats a bigger body at a position where there isn’t a lot of size on the roster. The Wildcats’ top-four returning receivers’ average height is less than 5-11.
“(Kyle) is as strong as an ox and he can run and jump,” said sophomore receiver Curry Sexton. “You don’t see guys like that every day. He gives us a different dimension. You can just throw the ball up to him and Kyle is going to go up and get it. He’s just such a big, strong guy.
“I think he’s going to be able to do some good things for us come fall.”
Kyle has never caught a pass from his brother in an actual game. But the two of them would like to change that this season — a brotherly connection on the football field K-State fans would like to see as well.
Away from the football field, the Klein brothers already have a connection that runs deep. And the way the two of them go about the daily process of living their lives has their teammates aspiring that their future children can find a guy like them.
“Hey, if I have a daughter who is going to get married to somebody like the Klein brothers,” Finney laughed, “then I did something right.”