With the dust beginning to settle on the fall transfer portal window, Kansas State football is left with a couple questions. After the announcement of former quarterback Will Howard choosing Ohio State, the Wildcats turn to their future with Avery Johnson leading the way.
The former five-star recruit led the Wildcats to 28-19 victory in the Pop-Tarts Bowl in Orlando, FL over NC State. He threw for 178 yards with two passing touchdowns. He added 71 yards on seven carries and a rushing touchdown to his stat lined, earning himself the MVP of the bowl game.
So clearly the Wildcats have a bright future ahead at the quarterback position as long as the portal doesn't suck him in like the one in the Dr. Pepper Fansville commercials, but what about other positions. Let's take a look at entered the portal and who decided to join Chris Kleinman and the rest of the Wildcats for the 2024 season.
A total of 15 players entered the portal from Kansas State. A total of 11 have already committed to other schools while four are still deciding where to go. So who are the biggest names that decided it was time for a change?
Will Howard goes to Ohio State
Senior quarterback Will Howard made his verbal commitment to Ohio State just one week after the Buckeyes fell to the Missouri Tigers 14-3 in what was a disappointing offensive performance by the Buckeyes in the Cotton Bowl.
Ohio State lost their starting quarterback Kyle McCord to the transfer portal as well. However, Buckeye fans were happy for a change after the team struggled offensively against the better teams in the Big Ten, even though there was only a handful of them.
Will Howard will step into a offense led by Ryan Day that has produced quality quarterbacks. Every quarterback Day has coached went on to the NFL, most recently and notably C.J. Stroud who just won the AFC South in his rookie season. Day also coached Justin Fields who is currently the starter in Chicago, and Dwayne Haskins, who tragically passed away in 2022, but played three seasons in the NFL for Washington and Pittsburgh.
Howard will step into a new system as a fifth year senior with one year of eligibility left. The former Wildcat won a Big 12 Championship in 2022 over TCU. In his four year career, Howard has thrown for 5,786 yards and 48 touchdowns, which was a a school record at Kansas State, and 25 interceptions. He does also have dual threat ability, rushing for 921 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Treshaun Ward heads to Boston College
Treshaun Ward only spent one season with the Wildcats after four season at Florida State. Boston College marks his third school in the last three years. Ward rushed for 643 yards for K-State and added 129 yard receiving.
The Wildcats feel pretty confident at running back behind sophomore star DJ Giddens who rushed for 1,226 yards on the season. Giddens and Ward worked as a one-two punch for the Wildcats in the run game. With Giddens taking reign of the starting role, Ward decided it was time to move on for his final season.
Boston College is in need of a solid and proven running back with Pat Garwo III entering the portal. Towards the end of the 2023 season, the Eagles struggled at the position with either Garwo or fellow running back Kye Robichaux out with injuries. With 780 yards on the season in 2023, Ward and Robichaux could pair well together for the Eagles going forward.
Kobe Savage commits to Oregon
Safety Kobe Savage chose to trade in purple for green. After two season witht he Wildcats, the senior decided to take his talents to Eugene following fellow Big 12 trasnfer Dillion Gabriel from Oklahoma.
Savage spent two season at Tyler Junior college building up his stats. In 2022, Savage made the move to Manhattan and started his first 10 games for the Wildcats before an injury cut his season short. Savage came back fro the 2023 season as a starter again ending the season with 38 solo tackles and three interceptions.
Will Lee III chooses Texas A&M
Will Lee III spent his sophomore season all over the field for the Wildcats. Lee will take his talents south to play for the Aggies.
After spending his freshman year at Iowa Western Community College, Lee transferred to Kansas State. Even as a young player, Lee made his presence known on the field. He had 42 total tackles, 32 solo tackles on the year along with one forced fumble and fumble recovery and two interceptions.
The young sophomore had his best game later in the season again the Texas Longhorns. He racked up nine total tackles, 7 solo and a fumble recovery on the day.
Lee will join fellow teammate Wesley Watson, a freshman wide reciever, at Texas A&M. The Aggies fired head coach Jimbo Fisher this offseason and hired Mike Elko from Duke in hopes to resurrect a once powerful program.
Here is a list of the rest of the players that entered the portal.
1. QB Jake Rubley: Illinois State
2. QB Adryan Lara: Not Committed
3. RB Christian Moore: UNLV
4. RB Anthony Frias: Not Committed
5. WR RJ Garcia II: Bowling Green
6. WR Xavier Loyd: Illinois State
7. EDGE Nate Matlack: Pitt
8. LB Jordan Perry: Not Committed
9. LB Collin Dunn: Not Committed
10. CB Jordan Wright: UConn
So who did Kansas State get?
So far Kansas State has only landed three players from the transfer portal. They have got defensive end Travis Bates from Austin Peay State University, safety Jordan Riley from Ball State, and offensive tackle Easton Kilty from North Dakota.
The Wildcats will turn to the veterans and their recruiting class for the 2024 season. They currently have 19 commits, four four-star athletes and 12 three-star athletes.
So with more additions to the Big 12 and the departure of Oklahoma and Texas, it will be interesting to see how the WIldcats fair. witht he expansion of the playoff, could Johnson lead the cats to glory in his first full season as starter? Only time will tell.