New K-State class pulling up the rear

By Joshua Kinder

If there’s one thing Kansas State has proven under the direction of coach Bill Snyder, it’s that rankings don’t really mean much when it comes to recruiting.

That’s a good thing for the Wildcats, because if rankings were always accurate, well, K-State would be in major trouble.

K-State unveiled its latest recruiting class on Wednesday and yet again, if numbers were any indication, the Wildcats delivered a class of misses, as the class comes in at No. 64 nationally and last in the Big 12, according to

But that’s nothing new for K-State. The 2012 class was ranked 58th. It was 68th the year before that. And yet, the Wildcats are coming off back-to-back seasons in which they won 10 games and 11 games, including a Big 12 title this past season.

Texas, meanwhile, always ranks near the top of all recruiting rankings and yet the Wildcats have won five straight over the Longhorns. For what its worth, Texas’ new class ranks 23rd.

Oklahoma had the top class in the Big 12, coming at No. 15. West Virginia was 24th and Baylor ranks 28th. Oklahoma State’s new crop is ranked 34th and TCU is 35th. Kansas, which won just one game last season, is 44th. Texas Tech came in at No. 51 and Iowa State ranks 58th.

“I think how young people are assessed is probably different in one venue than it is in another,” Snyder said Wednesday. “How we assess young people might be different, and obviously is different than the way other people might assess them. It kind of depends what you’re looking for.”

The Wildcats have 26 high school kids and six from junior colleges. Of the 32 recruits, nine are currently enrolled in spring classes. There are just two four-star signees in the group — defensive end Tanner Wood from Conway Springs and linebacker Nick Ramirez from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Snyder said what he and his staff evaluate is probably different than what other programs might value in their scouting. For Snyder and the Wildcats, much of the success they’ve had could be attributed to the development of talent, as long as certain values are already present.

“We have a strong belief in all those intrinsic values that we talk about, and that’s a major part of the draw that we bring to the table,” he said. “It’s important to us. And I think our coaching staff does a very fine job or developing young people, and you like to bring in guys who are committed to that constant improvement. It gives you a chance to grow into a position.

“We invest more time studying people we’re invested in, more so than anyone that’s not involved in collegiate football. That doesn’t mean we don’t make mistakes, but by the same token, I think we have a pretty good understanding of what we have and what we want, and what’s important in our program.”

Snyder addresses his new contract

Last week Snyder signed a new five-year contract, cooling some of the speculation that he might again be nearing retirement. Much of the talk about Snyder’s long-term future at K-State stemmed from the departure of two longtime assistant coaches, Joe Bob Clements, who left for Oklahoma State, and Michael Smith, who went to Arkansas.

On Wednesday, Snyder downplayed the importance of his new deal.

“I don’t know that it has an impact on anybody,” he said. “Like I’ve said before, as long as I feel like I’m doing right by the university and program, and staying healthy, and can help young people — as long as all that is in place, then I’ll be around a while. If its not, then I won’t. It’s that simple.”

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