Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dalton Risner Now Veteran on K-State Offensive Line

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dalton Risner Now Veteran on K-State Offensive Line

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- In one year, Dalton Risner has transitioned from the rookie of Kansas State's offensive line to the veteran.

As a redshirt freshman in 2015, Risner started every game at center and was flanked by four senior returning starters. With those four gone, Risner is the lone full-time starter back for K-State.

"It's a whole different story," Risner said earlier this week, four practices into the Wildcats' spring drills. "Last year I was always trying to prove myself to those guys every day and now I'm on the other end of the spectrum where I have to get guys ready to get going. We have a lot of young guys and a lot of spots to be filled. It's another load on my back to get my O-line ready."

Despite his status as the most experienced starter, Risner could still be the youngster on the offensive line as a sophomore. Senior guard Terrale Johnson made four starts last season and, while void of starting experience, senior guard Will Ash and junior guard/ center Reid Navjar provide a veteran presence.

"We have work to do, to put it mildly," coach Bill Snyder said of rebuilding the line. "Dalton, being the only returning starter, has taken on a leadership role that's beyond his age and I appreciate how he's done that and still stayed invested in execution and effort.

"Reid Najvar has been impressive to me and is in position to move up. Terrale Johnson has done a pretty decent job. With Will Ash, those would be the top four guys right now."

The tackle spots could be filled by a pair of junior college transfers. Abdul Beecham is on hand for spring practice, coming in from Blinn College, while Breontae Matthews will arrive this summer from Fullerton College.

"We have to get a fifth guy and some back-ups," Snyder said. "We hope to get eight guys and right now we have four. When we can define the five best we have, we'll mix and match and put guys where they help us the most. …

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