August 7, 2006

Seven new Wildcats worth watching

Kansas State fans and the media covering the Wildcats have had just one opportunity to watch Coach Ron Prince's team practice. Much of what was seen in that two-hour session likely was not indicative of where K-State stands, but some newcomers, such as true freshman running back Leon Patton, needed little time to stand out. With that in mind, here's a look at a touchdown (and extra point) worth of newcomers to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Defensive Tackle Brandon Balkcom
This sophomore junior college transfer from NEO looked every bit the 6-foot, 278 pounds he's listed at on the official roster, possibly more, and he has the strength and quickness needed to help immediately along the interior of the defensive line.

The move of Blake Seiler inside shows that K-State's staff wants some quickness and pass rushing ability at one of its tackle spots, something Balkcom would almost surely provide.

Cornerback Ray Cheatham
K-State has depth and experience at corner with the likes of Bryan Baldwin, Justin McKinney and Byron Garvin, but don't be surprised if Cheatham finds a way to work himself into the rotation.

Cheatham has a little bit more length than the three returnees and fellow transfer Devin Anderson and was impressive working in drills Saturday, particularly against wide receiver Cedric Wilson in one-on-ones; Wilson had a very difficult time getting off the line against Cheatham, let alone getting open.

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