March 31, 2007

Spring notes: Baldwin thrilled to be back

For the past two years Bryan Baldwin has been arguably Kansas State's most consistent performer at cornerback. The senior started the first four games of the 2006 season before suffering a season-ending arm injury, and the emergence of Joshua Moore has put Baldwin in a position where he has serious work to do if he hopes to regain his starting position. Turns out Baldwin wouldn't have it any other way.

"We don't see it as fighting for spots. The secondary is all competitive, and everybody is ready to go," Baldwin said. "I knew when I got hurt last year wouldn't be a huge deal, because I knew Josh would come in, step up and get things done."

Baldwin wouldn't talk specifically about his injury but was more than willing to talk about the recovery process and where he currently stands with reporters.

"It was hard to overcome. I've gone through a process to get back healthy, and it just feels good to be back out there," Baldwin said. "With injuries, it's just more mental than anything. You have to get back out and take some hits to get ready and know you're there. I wouldn't say I was 100 percent physically, but mentally I'm there and will get my physical up there."

Fellow senior Marcus Watts also battled injuries over the latter part of the season but is now healthy. Both Baldwin and Watts made big plays on Saturday, with Baldwin intercepting reserve quarterback Carson Coffman and Watts picking off starter Josh Freeman in the end zone.

"Having Watts and Baldwin back help us out a lot. Those are two very veteran players with a lot of confidence," Coach Ron Prince said. "They've played in a lot of stadiums and know where to go, and they can relate that to the younger players. Any time you can have players like that active for you in the spring, that's terrific."

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