Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Depth among Receivers Could Boost K-State

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Depth among Receivers Could Boost K-State

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- To begin each football season, Kansas State will invariably insert an unknown who dazzles the crowd.

So it seemed appropriate -- routine, actually -- when Louisburg walk-on Kody Cook caught a touchdown pass last week in the Wildcats' opener. The junior-college transfer then added two more grabs and finished with 44 yards receiving.

Welcome to K-State. (Seems I hear that a time or two at home games.) Where unknowns thrive.

Try finding Cook in the media guide. There is no bio. Just his name and number, height and weight, class and position, on the page that lists the complete K-State roster.

"I didn't know that," Cook said. "I'll take the underdog role any day. The less (opponents) know, the better. That's great with me."

After walking on, coaches looked at Cook as a quarterback and as a running back. Cook, however, was accustomed to playing wide receiver, the position he manned playing juco ball for Hutchinson.

"I like receiver, just the competitive aspect of it. I like being one-on-one with the corner," he said.

His touchdown catch, a 22-yarder from quarterback Jake Waters, came on a free play. Cook saw a flag thrown on a jumpy defender for Stephen F. Austin, and bolted for the right corner of the end zone. His score was the first for the Cats in the second half.

"We have a play that we run when teams jump offside," Cook said. "Jake just put it in the box, as we say, and made it really easy. All I had to do was go catch it. It was a great ball, in a great spot."

Immediately, the inquisitive began buzzing. Who is Kody Cook?

Ask Deante Burton and the sophomore receiver from Manhattan laughs. He too made his first career catch in the win against SFA, as did another sophomore wideout, Steven West, who also snagged his first touchdown.

All the targets were unveiled, in part, because K-State was manhandling a Championship Subdivision opponent. And, because senior Tyler Lockett was hobbled, prompting the K-State staff to take precautions and use the All-Big 12 standout sparingly.

"We've got this joke sometimes. We call each other the replacements, because we don't have big names like Curry (Sexton), or Lock, so I think (the touchdown) was perfect for (Cook)," Burton said. …

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