Wildcats ink 23 in early signing period

Kansas State Wildcats

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman announced Wednesday the first part of his second signing class in Manhattan as 23 student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Wildcats in 2020.

The early signing period saw K-State ink 18 high school student-athletes and five community-college transfers. It is the second time in the last three years the Wildcats signed five transfer student-athletes.

Thus far, K-State’s Signing Class of 2020 includes 12 players on defense, nine on offense and there are two athletes. The class is comprised of five defensive backs, three defensive ends and offensive linemen, two apiece of defensive tackles, linebackers, running backs and tight ends, while there is one quarterback and one wide receiver.

Of the five community-college players, four played in Kansas with two coming from Butler Community College (Dawson Delforge and Derick Newton) and two coming from Hutchinson Community College (Kirmari Gainous and Justin Gardner). Newton originally signed with K-State as a prep in 2018 and redshirted that season with the Wildcats, while Gardner signed with Oregon State out of high school in 2017 and played as a redshirt freshman in 2018.

The Wildcats again put an emphasis on Kansas and the Kansas City area as four are from the Sunflower State, while one is on the Missouri side of Kansas City. Texas leads all states with six, while Georgia remains a hotbed for the Wildcats with three more from the Peach State this year in Newton as well as defensive backs Tee Denson and TJ Smith. K-State has signed at least one from Georgia every year since 2015 for a total of 18 during that time.

The quarterback in the class, Will Howard, hails from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and is the first player from the state to sign with the Wildcats since 1990 (Andre Coleman). Offensive lineman Witt Mitchum is the first player from Tennessee to sign with K-State since 2000 (Will Martin).

Kansas State will sign more players in the regular signing period, which begins Wednesday, February 5.

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