MANHATTAN (KSNT) – Of all the great athletes to play for K-State football, only one is a four-time all-conference selection.

Ty Zimmerman is a home-grown Wildcat, born and raised down the road in Junction City. He recorded 13 interceptions and 256 tackles from 2009-2013.

After a stint trying to find his way to the NFL, Zimmerman returned home to Junction City to become an assistant high school football coach. K-Nation’s Landon Reinhardt sat down with Zimmerman to catch up about his life as a Wildcat and more.

K-State has a tradition of bringing back notable alumni to lead players out of the locker room pregame. Zimmerman got the call to “Bring out the ‘Cats” in K-State’s matchup against UCF.

“I felt blessed to be a part of that,” Zimmerman said. “That staff is so welcoming to former players. Coaches that weren’t there when I was there coming up, ‘Hey, it’s so good to have you back.’ Some of the support staff is still there. Some of the training staff is still there. It’s good to see familiar faces.”

As a Junction City graduate, the questioning had to turn to another Blue Jay making waves in the purple. Running back D.J. Giddens also grew up right down the road, and Zimmerman, who coached Giddens in high school, confirmed the notorious quietness of Giddens.

“For the longest time I thought, ‘Does this kid not like me?'” Zimmerman said. “I’m not getting in feedback, no smiles or nothing.”

Zimmerman also talks about big changes to the facilities since his time as a Wildcat, including the food options available and the quality of the cold plunge pools.

The full, exclusive interview with Zimmerman can be watched above. K-Nation airs every Sunday after 27 News at 10 on KSNT.