MANHATTAN (KSNT) – K-State football head coach Chris Klieman, his staff and their players have talked repeatedly about the improvement the Wildcat’s offensive line has made from last season. It all starts with the man in the middle.
At the center of their offensive line, literally and figuratively, is their center, Noah Johnson.
“They’re led by Noah Johnson. He’s truly one of the best leaders I’ve ever been a part of,” said quarterback Skylar Thompson.
Johnson’s impact goes beyond the offensive line.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s a DB, a wide receiver, a specialist, they all respect him. So his ability to impact them, all of them not just the O-line, is truly there. He’s got the platform so go use it,” said offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham.
The veteran center and his veteran quarterback have a special connection.
“Him and I are on the same page. He’s always thinking what I’m thinking. I’m thinking what he’s thinking, and we’re able to bounce off of each other in the huddle as far as like, ‘Hey, we’re struggling here. Let’s take a deep breath, let’s go, let’s pick it up,” Thompson said.
So how did the offensive line coach react when he found out Johnson was coming back for one more year?
“Are you married? What was your reaction when your wife said yes?” Conor Riley said. “I was fired up. The kid is a phenomenal leader. He’s a smart football player, and you can’t say enough good things about him. You really can’t.”
“We’re very motivated because there were glimpses last season of us being a great offensive line and there were glimpses of us being a below-average offensive line or an average offensive line,” Johnson said. “We’re aiming for greatness, we’re striving for greatness. And if you want greatness it’s consistency, and that’s what we have to keep working for.”