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[2020] Sports Science: KSU by the Numbers

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Welcome to Sports Science.  Today we will take you inside the numbers with advanced analytics to project the success of the 2020 Kansas State Wildcats compared to the 2019 Wildcats.

 

The 2019 Wildcats went 3-9, an improvement over their 1-11 2018 campaign.  Kansas State graduated 3 starters at the end of the season, all from the defensive side of the ball.   4.5* ILB Julien Daly was selected in the 6th round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 4* FS Christopher Figueroa and 3.5* SS David Frazier both went undrafted.

 

In his 2nd recruiting class, Coach Haff landed 25 recruits.  Notable recruits include 5* LB Brendan Scherer, 4.5* Juco QB Rahim Murrel, 4.5* DT Jonah Caruso, and 4* OL Maxim Kelly.  Haff also landed 7 3.5* recrits and 6 3* recruits, along with 8 walk-on players.  Although only 2 of these recruits project to start in 2020 and 10 of them project to redshirt, the Wildcats appear to be building the foundations of a roster that will allow them to compete in the Big XII and prove that they belong in a power 5 conference.

 

That class was good enough for the 53rd rank nationally (up from 106th the year before) and 6th in the Big XII. 

 

So moving beyond the coach speak and diving into the numbers, how does this team's roster project to stack up against last year’s version? 

 

The Offense

Offensive Line

Starting off in the trenches, the 2020 Wildcats are equal to, or an improvement over the 2019 Wildcats at every position.  As a unit, the offensive line’s overall star rating has improved from 15.5 to 17.5, and their potential rating has improved from 17.5 to 18.5.

Verdict: Slightly Improved

 

Pass catchers

The 2019 WRs are also much improved over their 2018 counterparts.  The top 3 WRs on the depth chart are all back from last season and made significant improvement over the offseason.  The group has increased their skill rating from 8 to 10 and their potential rating has increased from 10.5 to 11.5

 

In 2019 true freshman TE Damani Askew made an immediate impact, leading the team in receptions and TDs over the first 3/4 of the season.  He is back this year (albeit with a less then favorable +0.5 progression) and ready to do some damage in 2020.  The top 2 TEs on the depth chart have a combined rating of 5.5 compared to 4.5 last season.  However, their overall potential stayed the same at 6.5.

Verdict: Significantly Improved

 

Running Backs

There is no real change at the RB position as Elijah Humphrey returns for his senior year, but the Wildcats do see a small improvement at FB.  Overall the RB group raises both their combined skill ratings and combined potential ratings from 6.5 to 7

Verdict: Slightly Improved

 

Quarterback

Julius Minnow struggled mightily in 2019, and was even benched for a couple of games in favor of Aiden Higgins.  The landing of QB Rahim Murrel does not bode well for Minnow's career with the Wildcats, but it does dramatically help this offense.  The skill rating at QB jumps from 2.0 to 3.5 this season with the potential rating moving from 4 to 4.5.

Verdict: Dramatically Improved

 

Overall

Overall the offense has improved dramatically from a 36.5 rating last season to a 43.5 rating this season.  Their potential rating has also been upgraded from a 45 to a 48.  In 2020 this offense should be in much better shape then it was in 2019.  While poor QB play limited the Wildcats in 2019, they look to be an offense on the rise in 2020.

 

Defense

 

Defensive Line

This year the defensive line sports an overall combined rating of 13. This is a small improvement over the 2019 version, which held a combined rating of 12.  The potential of the unit increased from 13.5 to 14.5, but there are a duo of redshirted DTs that will significantly bolster this unit in 2021.

Verdict: Slightly Improved

 

Linebackers

Bad news: ILB Julien Daly is gone.  He was the heart and soul of this defense a year ago.

Good news: 5* LB Brendan Scherer could be the first first round draft pick that the Wildcat's have ever had on their roster.  

Bad news again: Scherer is very raw and will most likely redshirt in 2020, so this linebacker group will be in a hole this season.

 

Overall the linebackers have a combined rating of 9.5.  This is compared to last season when their rating was 11.  The potential of the linebackers is 10, down a point from 11 last year. But again this group landed a future star that will contribute in 2021 and beyond.

Verdict: Significantly Worse

 

The Secondary

The Secondary was better then expected in 2019, but still not up to par in the Big XII.  This year's secondary failed to improve at any position and looks to be the weakness of this defense once again.  Overall their combined skill rating dropped from 14.5 to 13 and their combined potential dropped from 16 to 15.5.

Verdict: Slightly Worse

 

Overall

Overall the defense regressed in both terms of skill and potential from 2019 to 2020.  Losing 3 high profile starters isn't easy on any team.  Luckily there are some good recruits who will be learning the system in 2020 and ready to make an impact in 2021.  For this year the defense skill rating drops from a 37.5 to a 35.5 and the potential rating drops from a 40.5 to a 40.

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QB Aiden Higgins 6-1 231 Sr West Central (Hartford, SD) 3.5 of 3.5 [Scrambling]
QB Julius Minnow 6-2 226 Jr Quinter (Quinter, KS) 3.0 of 4.0 [Pocket]
QB Rahim Murrell 6-2 220 (Jr) Moberly Area Community College (Moberly MO) 3.5 of 4.5 [Pocket]

 

They all look like viable starters. Rahim with the most talent and polish, but Higgins and Minnow already have knowledge of the system and familiarity with the receiving corps.

 

It sounds like there's a QB battle brewing in Manhattan. How is coach Haff planning to split reps in summer camp?

smckenz3 likes this

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29 minutes ago, vtgorilla said:

QB Aiden Higgins 6-1 231 Sr West Central (Hartford, SD) 3.5 of 3.5 [Scrambling]
QB Julius Minnow 6-2 226 Jr Quinter (Quinter, KS) 3.0 of 4.0 [Pocket]
QB Rahim Murrell 6-2 220 (Jr) Moberly Area Community College (Moberly MO) 3.5 of 4.5 [Pocket]

 

They all look like viable starters. Rahim with the most talent and polish, but Higgins and Minnow already have knowledge of the system and familiarity with the receiving corps.

 

It sounds like there's a QB battle brewing in Manhattan. How is coach Haff planning to split reps in summer camp?

Better get that Wiki done so we can see the spring game battle between Murrell and one of the other two.

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58 minutes ago, vtgorilla said:

QB Aiden Higgins 6-1 231 Sr West Central (Hartford, SD) 3.5 of 3.5 [Scrambling]
QB Julius Minnow 6-2 226 Jr Quinter (Quinter, KS) 3.0 of 4.0 [Pocket]
QB Rahim Murrell 6-2 220 (Jr) Moberly Area Community College (Moberly MO) 3.5 of 4.5 [Pocket]

 

They all look like viable starters. Rahim with the most talent and polish, but Higgins and Minnow already have knowledge of the system and familiarity with the receiving corps.

 

It sounds like there's a QB battle brewing in Manhattan. How is coach Haff planning to split reps in summer camp?

 

Aiden isn't a good fit for the offense we are gearing up to run. He was a great fit with our running attack led by Dylan Stewart, but has struggled in the passing game. 

 

So so that leaves us with Julius and Rahim. Watching the 2 of them battle it out in practice will be one of the most intriguing things in this offseason. Both will have their chance to win or lose the job. 

 

29 minutes ago, panther553212 said:

Better get that Wiki done so we can see the spring game battle between Murrell and one of the other two.

 

I suck at wiki stuff :/ I may try to figure it out again though. 

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