MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT) – K-State has a new wide receivers coach, but expectations remain the same.
“Every day, guys are out here competing for bigger roles,” receivers coach Thad Ward said. “Every last one of them… They’re competing for different roles, whether they’re catching screens or getting deep balls. Whatever it may be, we’re just competing every single day.”
With a new position coach and new offensive coordinator, the receivers’ roles will be expanding. Ward will keep rotating receivers, like K-State did in past seasons.
“The best players play, obviously, and play the post” Ward said. “If you can play and you can contribute, you’re going to have the opportunity to come out here and play.”
Malik Knowles and Phillip Brooks continue to lead the group. Knowles has been working on the details through fall camp, according to Ward.
“The want to come to in and meet me in one-on-one sessions… but he’s just getting better on the little details,” Ward said. “[He] understands the offense, understands the picture, now let’s really crisp up and tighten up your technique.”
Ward has also worked with Brooks on his technique.
“He’s been really impressive over the last seven practices,” Ward said. “Every day in the meeting… he’s in there taking notes, asking great questions, and he comes in and not only takes the notes, but he does it on the practice field, as well.”
Redshirt freshman RJ Garcia II didn’t sit out his entire first season. He played in three games in 2021, and Ward is impressed with Garcia’s improvement since spring practices.
“He’s really come on, and it’s showing right now,” Ward said. “He’s a hard worker. He’s a dependable guy. He just keeps growing every single day, and I want to continue to coach him to see how far we can go.”
Ward pointed out redshirt freshman Xavier Loyd and senior Jadon Jackson having a productive camp. Jackson transferred from Ole Miss, where he started three of the nine games he played in, and is learning his new offense quickly.
He will continue to use Deuce Vaugh in the passing game, but all running backs have taken receiving reps in camp.
“That’s the sign of a good coach,” Vaughn said. “Get the ball to 22.”
Overall, Ward is happy and impressed with his roster.
“You come in here, man, this culture is set,” Ward said. “These guys are early. They’re prepared when they come into your meetings. They’re eager to learn. Our locker room is second to none.”