MANHATTAN (KSNT) – Former K-State offensive lineman and current Denver Bronco Dalton Risner was back in the little apple Saturday to see K-State take on Texas.

Risner talked with 27 Sports Director Glenn Kinley in an exclusive interview before the game.

“I love this stadium,” Risner said. “I got five years worth of memories here. Wearing this jersey and being a part of the EMAW. I just love this place. It feels really good to be back. Life has been busy but it’s good to be around the purple and put some purple on.”

He said there are several lessons he learned at K-State that he still applies in his NFL career.

“I got to work with Bill Snyder,” Risner said. “From my experience with Coach Snyder, he’s taught me so much not just about the game of football, but the game of life. Just how to persevere and the work ethic and the sacrifice.”

He said his time in Manhattan, and with Snyder, produced memories and taught lessons he’ll never forget.

“I think the main takeaway I had at Kansas State… I came here and I grew into who Dalton Risner was,” he said. “I figured out how I wanted to be more influential off the field than anything on the field and how big that is. How big it is to be a light for people in this world that we live in.”

The grind of playing in the NFL is nothing compared to the work ethic he developed at K-State, though. Risner says a special moment with Coach Snyder on senior night stands out as a special memory.

“Bill Snyder looked at me and told me he was proud of me,” Risner said. “In five years that man had never said that. That was a cool moment for him to look me in the eyes and say ‘I’m proud of you.'”

Another special memory is the touchdown pass he caught from Skylar Thompson. “It got called back but we won’t talk about that,” Risner joked.

The Denver Broncos selected Risner in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-5, 312 pound offensive lineman is in his fourth NFL season.