Power Ranking the 7 Most Electrifying Players in Kansas State Football History
While never winning a national championship, the Kansas State Wildcats have churned out a phenomenal amount of talent. The Wildcats have had at least one player drafted in each of the last 18 years.
That is the second longest streak in the Big 12, behind only one program, Texas. So who were the most electrifying players to put on the purple and silver? Let's go ahead and get this show started.
No. 7: David Allen
Special teams are an opportunity for big plays, especially in college football. While David Allen was rarely used as a running back while he was a Wildcat, he was designated as a punt return specialist.
During his career at Kansas State, Allen returned seven punts for touchdowns. Four of those returns came in one season, and that record still stands today.
After college, Allen was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-2004 and played one season with the St. Louis Rams before hanging it up.
No. 6: Jordy Nelson
Jordy Nelson has a tremendous story, but that is for another article. This walk-on defensive back made the switch to wide receiver after his freshman year and never looked back.
With crisp route-running, phenomenal hands and deceptive speed on the field, Nelson quickly became Josh Freeman's favorite target. He had a breakout season his senior year tallying 122 catches for over 1600 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Nelson also returned two punts for touchdowns in his final year, including this beauty against Texas. Nelson was a second round pick for the Green Bay Packers and was an integral part of their Super Bowl run last year.
No. 5: Ell Roberson III
Bill Snyder loves dual threat quarterbacks. Kansas State's best teams were all led by a quarterback who could make plays with his arm, as well as in the running game. Ell Roberson was the perfect combination of speed and passing expertise.
In 2003, he had a breakout year which included two single-season records in the Wildcats record books. His passer rating of 142.3 and his 24 passing touchdowns are records that still stand today.
Roberson (along with another player to be named later in this show) was one of the main reasons Kansas State won their first Big 12 championship in 2003.
Unfortunately, controversy not only forced him to sit out the first half of the 2004 Fiesta Bowl, but also cost him his scholarship. Nevertheless, he remains one of the most electrifying players in Wildcat history.
No. 4: Josh Freeman
With Ron Prince behind the wheel, the run-first offense Kansas State fans had become accustomed to went out the window, becoming almost non-existent. However, when you've got a darn good quarterback, why not let him do his thing?
Josh Freeman came to Kansas State as a highly-touted quarterback out of Missouri. His prototypical size, rocket arm and mobility made him a huge pickup for the Wildcats. Freeman threw for an astounding 3,352 yards in 2007 and 8,078 yards throughout his career, both of which are Kansas State records.
As a freshman, he led Kansas State to a 45-42 upset over the fourth ranked Texas Longhorns, leading Kansas State to a 7-5 record. He was drafted 17th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is currently their starting quarterback.
No. 3: Terence Newman
Although Terence Newman holds no records for Kansas State, he was one of the biggest playmakers to play for the Wildcats in recent memory. Newman did it all.
His main position was cornerback, but his incredible speed, jumping ability, soft hands and ball-hawking abilities made him an all-around threat. He played defense, lined up at wide receiver a few times and (surprise) returned kicks and punts for the Wildcats.
One of his most memorable plays as a Wildcat was a 90 yard blocked extra point return for 2 points against the USC Trojans. In the NFL he earned NFC Rookie of the Year in 2003 and has been voted to the Pro Bowl twice. He currently plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
No. 2: Michael Bishop
Kansas State has never come closer to a national championship than they did in 1998.
A second half meltdown in the Big 12 Championship Game against the Texas A&M Aggies put the kibosh on the championship hopes. But the main reason the Wildcats were even in contention was quarterback Michael Bishop.
That year he also finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. Bishop has set the standard for dual-threat quarterbacks in Manhattan.
Every dual-threat recruit that gets picked up inevitably draws comparison to the Blinn College product who took KSU further than any K-State quarterback in history. His tremendous speed, elusiveness and rocket arm plant him firmly in our number two spot.
No. 1: Darren Sproles
Darren Sproles tops our list as the most electrifying player in KSU program history. The 5'6" 190 lb. bullet could cut on a dime, break ankles and send players crashing into each other like the stooges.
He currently holds every rushing record at Kansas State. Sproles set the single season rushing record in 2003 with 1,986 yards. He set the single game rushing record when he rushed for 292 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette in 2004.
Sproles finished his career as a Wildcat with 4,979 yards and 40 touchdowns. He finished fifth in the Heisman voting in 2003 and has had a tremendous NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, and now the New Orleans Saints.
Sproles has set the bar extremely high at a university that has churned out a number of good running backs. That is why he has found himself atop the list of the most electrifying players in Kansas State football history.