MANHATTAN (KSNT) – Desmond Purnell was running in touchdowns for Hayden High School just a few seasons ago.

Now, he’s playing at what Chris Klieman calls ‘an all-conference level’ in the Big 12 for Kansas State.

“Time does fly pretty fast sometimes,” Purnell said. “Coach Klieman saying that I’m really thankful for. [It’s] a fill circle moment.”

Purnell sat down for a one-on-one interview with 27 Sports Director Glenn Kinley. The interview aired on K-Nation.

The detail which might make his success even more impressive is the fact that he didn’t come to K-State with plans of playing linebacker. He was originally a defensive back for the ‘Cats.

“I didn’t really think much of [changing positions],” he said. “Whatever the team needs, I’m always a team first guy. So that switch wasn’t really that big of a deal to me.”

The Topeka native says his team at Hayden, playing for coach Bill Arnold, prepared him for the next level.

“Coach Arnold is an old-fashioned coach,” Purnell said. “Just being able to be coachable and knowing when to listen to not only coaches but older guys in the program. Those older guys really helped me and guided me to where I am right now.”

His impact with the Wildcats, although in a different position, is what he hoped for when coming to K-State.

“It was always my dream to come here and be able to help out the team and win valuable games,” he said.

The Hayden Wildcat turned Kansas State Wildcat had five tackles and one fumble recovery, which he returned for a touchdown, in K-State’s win against Baylor.