Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Tanking Completes K-State Journey

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Tanking Completes K-State Journey

Article excerpt

PHOENIX -- Trent Tanking was challenged by doubt and skepticism.

Coming out of Holton High School, there was skepticism that Tanking could play Division I football. He took the hard route, going to Kansas State as a walk-on and within two years earned a scholarship.

Playing on special teams was one thing, but entering his senior year the doubters resurfaced as to his ability to be the anchor of the K-State defense at inside linebacker. All he did was lead the Wildcats in tackles and earn honorable mention on the coaches All-Big 12 team.

Go ahead and doubt Tanking, it only fuels his fire.

"I've always taken the approach of just working hard," said Tanking, who concluded his K-State career in the Cactus Bowl against UCLA late Tuesday night. "Anything I do, I feel like I will earn. I don't want to sound pompous or anything, but it means a lot to me personally being able to accomplish what I thought I could accomplish when I came to K-State."

Tanking's journey from walk-on to starter is not unique at K-State. In fact, it has become an all too common story but never gets old.

"Trent is the K-State way: A walk-on who got on scholarship who made the best of his opportunity," Wildcat cornerback Duke Shelley said. "You see guys like Trent on the team and he is such a great role model for everyone on the team. Overall, he's one of the best guys I've been around and played with."

A standout career at Holton, a perennial Class 4A power, didn't pave the way for Tanking to collect Division I scholarship offers. He could have gone to any number of Division II programs or a junior college but he chose the walk-on route at K-State.

"Going to high school in Kansas, there's not a lot of D-I attention, as unfortunate as that is," he said. "The opportunity to prove yourself is a challenge that I wanted to take on. There are a lot of guys that try it and don't have quite enough and I wanted to get over that hump, and I was fortunate to get that opportunity."

Tanking didn't make the choice blindly. His high school coach, Brooks Barta, was an All-American linebacker in the early stages of the construction of the K-State program under coach Bill Snyder. …

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