Defensively Kansas State has some pretty impressive playmakers at nearly every position group. It's not a group that appears to be quite as disciplined and efficient as the offense, but they do extremely well at keeping opponents out of the endzone and limited on the ground. While there is sometimes a tendency to play to the competition, there aren't a lot of holes that a team can exploit. Kansas State can matchup and go head to head with just about anyone when they are on top of their game defensively.
FS 12 Ty Zimmerman (6-1, 203, Jr.-2L)
Zimmerman is a two year starter and a two time All Big 12 selection. He's done all that and he still has this season and next year to go. ZImmerman is the team captain and he's Mr. consistent. His ceiling might not be as high as some of the talent on the defensive side of the ball but he's in the right place on a consistent basis which makes him a great team leader in the secondary.
MLB 4 Arthur Brown (6-1, 231, Sr.-1L)
Brown leads the linebacking corp and after a bit of a lackluster year at Miami he is back on track and showing everyone why he was so highly recruited. Has he reached five star, top recruit expectation level? That's hard to say, but there aren't many teams in the Big 12 who would turn him away if the opportunity presented itself. Brown leads the team in tackles, he anchors the front seven and he's just as much of a leader as Zimmerman is on this team.
DE 42 Meshak Williams (6-3, 245, Sr.-1L)
DT 96 John Sua (6-0, 294, Sr.-1L)
DT 92 Vai Lutui (6-2, 299, Sr.-1L)
DE 55 Adam Davis (6-0, 247, Sr.-1L)
Sua is the new face in this group and Lutui is going to be a load to handle for someone in a Jayhawk uniform. The way this group is assembled is impressive. You have walk ons, juco players and four year guys. It's very similar to what Kansas State has done with the offensive line and very similar to what Kansas has tried and failed to do on a consistent basis...frustrated?
SLB 2 Justin Tuggle (6-3, 237, Sr.-1L)
WLB 50 Tre Walker (6-3, 225, Jr.-2L)
Justin Tuggle has gone from a bit of an afterthought at quarterback to a pretty dynamic linebacker. He has tremendous athleticism and it's translating well to the position where he is making an impact for this unit. Walker is an Olathe North product and I remember his recruitment well. He was very interested in Kansas because of some personal connections and the beginning of the Turner Gill experiment. Kansas never even gave him the time of day, Kansas State did and he's been contributing since his true freshman year....how about now, frustrated?
CB 3 Allen Chapman (5-11, 176, Sr.-1L)
SS 23 Jarard Milo (6-2, 197, Jr.-1L)
CB 24 Nigel Malone (5-10, 180, Sr.-1L)
Malone anchors one side as a 'lockdown' type corner while Milo is another walk on turned starter story out of Manhattan. Zimmerman is the leader but Malone might be the most talented and the other two are solid as well. This is an experience group, a talented group and Dayne Crist will need to make decisions in a much more efficient fashion if Kansas is going to get the passing game back on track.
This is a bit of a scary read. Kansas State has athletes, overachievers and high football IQ players throughout the defensive unit. It's the perfect blend to create a pretty effective unit under the Bill Snyder umbrella. Obviously they will be tested as the season goes on, but based on early season play, Kansas won't be one of those.