MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) When Curry Sexton looks back on his senior season for No. 13 Kansas State, he’ll recall at least four 100-yard receiving games and more production than his first three years combined.
Personal statistics are not what fuels Sexton, though. After catching nine passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns against Texas Tech, the pride of Abilene made that perfectly clear.
”It doesn’t matter to me if I get statistics or not,” he said. ”If we go out and win, that’s all that matters, but I think it’s just a matter of our coaches calling plays that are going to work, and if I’m called upon, I’ll do my best to try to make a play.”
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A special teams player most of his career, Sexton has emerged as a dangerous and productive alternative to Tyler Lockett, the Wildcats’ biggest playmaker. While defenses increasingly double- and triple-team Lockett, the lesser-known Sexton has continued to make plays.
”You can establish (statistics), but I don’t think that always identifies the quality of performance that you have,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. ”Curry has always been a very productive receiver, whether he has the ball in his hands or not.”
The nephew of Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, Sexton is coming off his fourth 100-yard receiving performance in Saturday’s loss to fifth-ranked TCU. Naturally, the big numbers meant a whole lot less to Sexton than the defeat, which essentially eliminated Kansas State (7-2, No. 13 CFP) from contention in the four-team college football playoff.
Still, the Wildcats are tied atop the Big 12, so there is plenty to play for the rest of the season. Kansas State is off Saturday before visiting West Virginia on Nov. 20.
”People talk about his progress – he has been a good player since I can remember,” Snyder said. ”It’s just sometimes you get your opportunities, sometimes you don’t and there was a couple ballgames that he had more opportunities than he did otherwise.”
Football intelligence has never been in question for Sexton, who turned down full academic and football scholarships at Harvard, Columbia and Princeton to play at Kansas State.
He knew he would have to bide his time before hitting the field, and he was never guaranteed any kind of role on offense. But through sheer determination, he finally started to play on special teams, and then became impossible to keep off the field as a wide receiver.
”Curry is a very astute player,” Snyder said. ”He is a guy you know is always going to be in the right spot at the right time. He knows how to get where he needs to go and he is athletic as well. He has that kind of football sense about him.”
No matter if it was Sexton’s first season in 2011 or now his final three games left in a Kansas State uniform, Snyder said the receiver’s persona on the football field hasn’t changed.
”He is kind of like a quarterback,” Snyder said. ”He is really good about deciphering defenses. We have a lot of dialogue on the sidelines about things we need to do, and other players, too. I certainly appreciate his comments. He is not selfish whatsoever.”
Earlier this season, Sexton hauled in his first touchdown catch since his sophomore year, when he caught one against Miami. Now, he has grown accustomed to having the ball in his hands in big moments, and hopes to snag several more TD throws.
”I’m not like Tyler and run past people, and I’m not going to kill people with my speed or jumping ability,” Sexton said. ”Being able to know where the soft spots are and the windows are, being on the same page as the quarterbacks and the guys around me, just knowledge of the game and the system and the program has been my biggest improvement.”