K-State Spring Game, John Holcombe running

Then-Kansas State redshirt freshman quarterback John Holcombe II (3) runs with the ball during team's spring scrimmage at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in April. Holcombe announced Tuesday night on Twitter that he was leaving the program four games into the 2019 season.

Collin Klein, Dalton Schoen and Landry Weber all had the same reaction when they first heard the news that John Holcombe II was leaving Kansas State.

They were surprised.

Of the trio, which met with reporters Wednesday, Klein was the least astonished, and most well informed, about Holcombe’s decision to depart. Holcombe announced his plans Tuesday night on Twitter.

“We sat down and had a conversation,” said Klein, who tutors the Wildcats’ quarterbacks and was Holcombe’s position coach. “He felt like that was what was best for him. I appreciate the work that he gave me over the last year and a half and the work that he gave our program. We wish him the best down the road.”

Weber, a third-year sophomore receiver who was put on scholarship at the beginning of the season, was taken aback that Holcombe, the co-No. 2 on the quarterback depth chart alongside Nick Ast, was leaving four games into the 2019 campaign.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” Weber said. “I’m just as informed as all of you guys are. So I really have nothing to say about it because I really don’t know much about it.”

Schoen, the Wildcats’ leading receiver, said he “had no idea” Holcombe’s transfer was imminent. The timing of the announcement only added to Schoen’s confusion.

“From my understanding, he can’t go play anywhere else right now. He’s going to have to sit out still,” said Schoen, a fifth-year senior. “But at the end of the day, if someone wants to leave and that’s the best for them, you’ve just got to move on.”

Moving on from one program to another has become commonplace for quarterbacks around the country nowadays, especially among those who aren’t starting.

For Klein, this is the new normal.

“It’s the landscape of college football right now,” he said. “You always prepare for it as best you can. I think because everybody’s doing it, it makes more options available. It is a little bit more of a free agency, so even though you may lose, there’s more opportunities to gain, too. That’s kind of the way it goes. That’s just the way it is.”

Recommended for you