MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Chris Klieman spoke to the media Tuesday afternoon in the first in-person press conference since early 2020.

“We’re better because we have more bodies,” Klieman said. “We’re better because when you go out there and just watch those guys in the last three weeks of July summer conditioning. We look bigger. We look stronger. We look more athletic. There’s more guys at all those positions.”

Klieman added that fifth-year quarterback Skylar Thompson is looking good.

“He made some plays in red zone today that were pretty special,” Klieman said. “The game is slowed down so much for him… I just see a comfort level out of him and a confidence level. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.”

Klieman said the team has been able to spend more time with each other this summer compared to the past year.

“We have had a really good offseason,” Klieman said. “Guys were able to be around each other so we got a close-knit group of guys. We had a really good summer.”

The true test for this team will be how they respond to adversity, says Klieman.

“How are we going to respond when adversity strikes?” he said. “That’s how we’re going to be judged, is can we overcome adversity?”

Klieman, K-State’s head coach, also commented on the Big 12 realignment talks, as Oklahoma and Texas plan to leave the Big 12.

“Kansas State is still going to play football, and we’re still going to play power five football,” he said. “We’re going to have a great schedule, and I’ll let the people that are above me figure out how that’s all going to happen.”

He said the change is one that he and other coaches saw coming.

“This is something that all of us in the profession as coaches saw coming probably three years ago, even five years ago I saw it coming, that there is going to be some drastic changes in the landscape of college football over the next three to five years,” Klieman said. “We have really good leaders on this team. The leadership has to rise to the occasion to find out what kind of football team we are.”