MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT) – Now that K-State football won’t have Deuce Vaughn, coaches are figuring out what to do next.

“There’s no replacing him,” offensive coordinator Collin Klein said. “It’s not fair to him, and it’s not fair to anybody else trying to fill those shoes. Will we be different? Sure.”

Junction City graduate DJ Giddens is one of a few running backs impressing coaches during spring practices.

“His football IQ, I mean, that’s where Deuce stood out in a big way,” running backs coach Brian Anderson said. “His knowing of the offense, his knowing of the game and seeing pictures. I think if DJ continues on that track, you’ll see a lot of the same things.”

Giddens was an honorable mention for Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2022. He played in every game and was third on K-State’s rushing chart, behind Vaughn and Adrian Martinez.

“The things that DJ does really well, he’s worked at,” Anderson said. “The things he’s learned from Deuce, he’s worked at it. I think Deuce setting the tone every day in our meeting room and on the practice field, DJ from afar and from close up got a chance to look at that and see those things. I think you’re going to see a guy who’s hungry and wants to be successful because it’s all about confidence at the end of the day. All these guys, they all see themselves playing on Sunday. They all see themselves being playmakers. Once you gain confidence in yourself your ability, the sky’s the limit.”

The running backs are a fast and diverse group, Anderson said. He will also be watching the NFL Draft closely, waiting to hear Vaughn’s name called.