Chris Klieman helped three Kansas State football players’ dreams come true during preseason camp. Running back Tyler Burns, offensive lineman Noah Johnson and wide receiver Landry Weber are all on scholarship, with Klieman, in his first season as K-State’s head coach, awarding the trio earlier this month.
Weber and Johnson joined the program as walk-ons, while Burns had played for the Wildcats in 2016 and 2017 under former head coach Bill Snyder before leaving. Burns returned to the football team after Klieman’s hire.
Some coaches turn the announcement of awarding scholarships into a public spectacle for the entire team to celebrate. Klieman went in the opposite direction, telling each of the three in private.
“I’m roommates with Tyler Burns, so he told me when he got home that day,” fifth-year senior receiver Dalton Schoen, a former walk-on now on scholarship himself, said Wednesday. “And then I found out about Landry and Noah later that day.”
Every time he sees another teammate earn a scholarship, Schoen said it’s a special feeling.
“Especially a guy like Landry,” he said. “A similar story to me: He came from the same area, had to battle his way on special teams and now he’s getting some time at receiver. I’m excited to see what he does more in the future, but (I’m) really happy for those guys.”
Jason Ray, Weber’s position coach, didn’t know until he ran into Weber in the hallway shortly after meeting with Klieman.
“He was smiling,” Ray said. “I asked him what was going on, and he said Coach had put him on. That’s awesome for him.”
Weber’s ties to K-State run deep.
His father, Stan Weber, has been the color commentator for the Wildcats’ radio broadcast team since 1987 after playing quarterback from 1980 to 1984. His older brother, Stanton Weber, was a wide receiver for K-State (2011-15) and now serves as a special teams quality control coach. And it doesn’t stop on the football field: his older sister McKenzi is a senior on the K-State volleyball team.
After playing in nine games last season — primarily on special teams, where he made a tackle on kickoff coverage against Baylor and recovered a fumble on a kickoff versus Kansas — Weber has worked into the receiver rotation heading into the 2019 campaign.
Per the depth chart released Monday, he’s battling for the backup spot with Phillip Brooks behind starting wideout Wykeen Gill.
“We’re looking forward to him moving forward,” Ray said.