Snyder doesn’t hold back demanding style on young team

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder takes the same demanding approach with freshmen as he does seniors.

Soobum Im/Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

This edition of the Kansas State Wildcats is a bit different than most. Coach Bill Snyder’s teams are typically filled with upperclassmen, with junior-college recruits often filling holes.

That’s not the case this season with what Kansas City Star beat writer Kellis Robinett describes as an "unprecedented youth movement." Ten freshmen names are on the depth chart and an 11th also plays. Robinett said the number of young players this season made Snyder think about his coaching philosophy.

"We had some dialogue about that, not necessarily about freshmen, but expectations and being able to exceed expectations,” Snyder said. “Their own expectations, not mine or anybody else’s, but their own. I think with younger players there is probably a built-in patience that you do not quite have with upperclassmen. I try to not be that way, but I am probably, like the other coaches, probably do have more forgiveness for them.”

Snyder added: “For most people, the expectations (for a freshman) might be a little lower than they would be for someone who has been around doing it for a long time. I have always kind of viewed that as on the borderline of excuses. I have tried to share with our freshmen and younger players that our expectations are every bit as high for them or anyone else in the program.”

The young Wildcats have started the season 3-0 despite the loss of starting quarterback Jesse Ertz in the season opener. They begin the Big 12 schedule Saturday on the road at No. 20 Oklahoma State. A win would be a boon for a team dealing with multiple key injuries and that is not expected to contend for the Big 12 title as it did last year, and in many years under Snyder.

For some newcomers, getting used to Snyder’s demanding ways has taken some time.

“I was looking for a some leeway from the coaches,” redshirt freshman Dalton Risner told the Star. “You know, a little wiggle room for being the young guy. I got the opposite. If I made a mistake out there, I was getting ripped for it.”

MORE NEWS: Want stories delivered to you? Sign up for our College Football newsletters.