MANHATTAN (KSNT) – K-State football fans might see something vaguely familiar in two days: a true freshman quarterback.

The past time K-State started a true freshman quarterback, it was Will Howard in 2020. Howard is sore recovering from a soft tissue leg injury he sustained during the Mizzou game. With the Wildcats’ next-man-up mentality, Avery Johnson could be next.

“Will’s gotten better every day,” offensive coordinator Collin Klein said. “I think it’s going to be, obviously, if he can go and gets cleared and healthy, then obviously he’ll go. But, it’s been day-to-day.”

Klein has that experience starting true freshman.

“Last game, we were using [Johnson] in a lot of run-game stuff,” Klein said. “That wasn’t necessarily the only things we thought he could do. We were trying to use some read and some quarterback run game. That’s just how we needed him last week, but certainly not indicative of where we think his capacity is in the offense.”

Starting a quarterback with little in-game experience doesn’t affect the game plan much, Klein said.

“My confidence is in the preparation and how Avery’s worked,” he said. “We wouldn’t put him out there if he wasn’t ready. It’s not just about one guy, too. It’s about everybody stepping up and playing well around whoever’s back there.”

The ‘Cats get a moment to breathe and heal after the UCF game. The next week is already the bye week. Usually, teams would feel this is too early, but it might be coming at a good time for K-State. Treshaun Ward, Christian Duffie and Jake Clifton are also dealing with injuries.