Press Briefing – Klieman and players react to new uniforms and Tulane week

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by Mason Voth

Kansas State’s Vanier Family Football Complex was full of positivity and excitement again, very similar to the week prior. This week the buzz was for a dominant win against Missouri and a new alternate uniform on the horizon, to wear against Tulane. Here are the most notable things to come out of today’s media availability in Manhattan.

Alternate uniform excitement

As many know by now, the Wildcats will be attempting to finally get a win under Chris Klieman in something other than the standard set of home and away uniforms. This weekend against Tulane the Cats will take to the field wearing white helmets with Willie the Wildcat on one side and a black number on the other. That will be paired with white pants that have been worn three times before, all in 2019 against Baylor, West Virginia and Navy.

After teasing the uniforms on Monday, Chris Klieman came to the microphone on Tuesday prior to the release. “It’s something that Al and I have been visiting about and some of it is supply and demand and shipping and receiving. Everything seemed to go as planned to Al, and so this way the time do it. Pretty simple there.”

As for the player hype for the uniforms, Adrian Martinez and Kade Warner got to don some different looks in their time at Nebraska, but both knew how exciting it would be for the team.

“It was definitely really, really cool,” said Warner. He was also aware that it wasn’t something that “doesn’t happen very often” at K-State.

Martinez added a comical nature to talking about the uniforms, he was so locked into the game week prep that he dove into talking about Tulane when asked, “are you excited for a new look this weekend?” After a few seconds of serious game conversation, he admitted “I guess I misunderstood your question. Are you talking about new uniforms? Yeah the guys are excited.”

Kansas State to debut new, alternate uniforms vs. Tulane

Nebraska’s coaching vacancy

Multiple times the Nebraska coaching search became a topic of conversation inside the Steel and Pipe Supply Theatre. First for Chris Klieman, whose name has been mentioned by multiple national college football writers as a possible candidate for the job in Lincoln. Klieman shot those down on Tuesday.

“Scott Frost is a friend of mine, I hate to see it. I don’t know what’s going on or what has gone on. I really like it here at Kansas State. I can just say one name and that is Gene Taylor. Gene’s my guy.”

Another interesting perspective came from Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez. It was a dicey situation he was involved in start to finish with Frost in Lincoln and at first, wasn’t going to say much on the situation, but did add “still a lot of people that I care for there a lot, and you never like to see a man lose his job regardless. So thoughts with him and the guys and the coaches and the support staff that are there.”

Quotes and Video: Chris Klieman’s week three press conference and quotes

Defensive reinforcements coming back from missing time

Josh Hayes made his Tuesday press conference debut, after appearing in his first game as a Wildcat on Saturday. Hayes flew all over the football field, delivering key hits for the stout K-State defense.

“It was just amazing to be able to put those pads on and all my brothers in the locker room and play some football. Just amazing.”

Hayes also added that he wasn’t even on the sidelines in week one, when he missed the Wildcat win over South Dakota.

More help will be on the way, similar to Hayes returning after the start of the season. It won’t be this weekend, but Chris Klieman provided a brief update on linebackers Shawn Robinson and Will Honas.

“Getting closer on both of them, don’t have a definitive timetable.”

Hard work and unselfishness

A constant in Klieman’s remarks on Tuesday were words like “unselfish” and “hard work.” He used those descriptors for Brendan Mott, Desmond Purnell, Hayden Gillum and Austin Moore.

Purnell was given a shoutout for his attention to detail and the effort he exerted on special teams. “The one guy we were worried about was the shield player and Desmond Purnell blocked him from the time it was kicked to the time that the ball was in the endzone,” said Klieman.

For the other three, they all had to work hard to reach the point of becoming regulars on the field at K-State. “I wish we had 15 Austin Moores…and we are getting closer to having that,” said the Wildcat head coach.

Klieman on what Tulane brings to the table

Chris Klieman and Tulane head coach Willie Fritz squared off when Klieman was the defensive coordinator at North Dakota State, and Fritz was the head coach at Sam Houston State. In two meetings in the FCS National Championship, Klieman’s Bison held Fritz’s Bearkat offense to a combined total of 19 points.

“Willie was at Sam Houston State when I was at NDSU. I had really good battles with him.”

Klieman was skeptical that their prior meetings on the field had any bearing on the outcome of this week’s matchup a decade after the fact. “We are both so different than when it was…tons of respect for the quality of a man that he is and the quality of program that he runs.”

Best of the rest

The final note of the day was Kade Warner breaking down his near pass attempt on Saturday and his hall of fame quarterback father’s (Kurt Warner) assessment as well.

“I would love to throw the ball as many times as they let me. We went through the week and I had to key that backside safety and as we lined up I said get over here, and he was over there seeing Deuce.

“He [Kurt] did text me and asked “why didn’t you throw that ball…I watched the TV copy yesterday and they showed my dad in the stands after, and he was probably thinking ‘what are they doing?’”

WATCH: K-State players speak ahead of Tulane

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