Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State Features Talent, Depth on Defensive Line

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State Features Talent, Depth on Defensive Line

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- Ask Kansas State assistant football coaches Mo Latimore and Blake Seiler about the players in their position groups and it's difficult for them to low-key their optimism.

Latimore coaches the K-State defensive tackles, while Seiler works with defensive ends, and both have abundant talent and depth at positions that may be the most difficult to stockpile.

"We have a lot of bodies and everything is looking pretty decent," said Latimore, the veteran coach who enters his 31st season on the K-State staff. "All of the guys have done a great job and I'm pleased with all of them. They're working hard, and I hope that will carry on the rest of camp."

Any discussion of the Wildcat defensive front begins with Ryan Mueller, the senior end who was the Big 12 defensive lineman of the year in 2013 and a second team All-American when he tied the school record with 111/2 sacks.

"Ryan had a great year last year and he just keeps working hard," Seiler said. "I was really impressed with him in the offseason. He's really taken a leadership role upon himself, not only leading the defense but being a leader for the entire team for us. He's working harder than ever, which is his calling card."

Mueller, the former walk-on, takes his role as a team captain seriously.

"Coach Seiler has definitely put high expectations on me to be the absolute best leader, player and person I possibly can be," Mueller said. "I am responsible for those actions, but I have a coach like him to hold me to those expectations and those high standards to be the best player I can possibly be."

The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Mueller had 62 total tackles last season, 53 unassisted with 181/2 tackles for loss, six pass break-ups and four forced fumbles.

What more can he do?

"He's really worked hard on his footwork in the run game, and with his pass rush he's worked on improving his speed off the edge," Seiler said. …

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