April 27, 2007

Wykes looking to earn an opportunity

Matt Wykes asked for was a chance. And all the Conway Springs native and junior college transfer walk-on from Butler Community College did during the Kansas State spring game last Saturday was make the most of it. Some players hoped to put the final spring practice behind them. Not Wykes. He wanted to hold onto the night forever.

It's an intriguing story, one we've heard before. A few years back, a Kansas native named Jon McGraw said some of the same stuff: He was a home state kid looking for a chance. He got scholarship offers from Division I-AA teams, smaller schools. He spurned those in hopes of achieving a dream.

He wanted to wear purple.

"I want to prove myself as a hard worker," Wykes said. "It's how I've been raised and I know coach Ron Prince is all about hard work and dedication and I'm all about bleeding purple. My sister went here. Now I'm here. I'm just proud to be here."

Haven't heard of Wykes? He was the one in a white No. 17 jersey. All he did was record 21 yards receiving. Don't knock it. It more than any player wearing white or purple. He caught two passes, including a 16-yard touchdown from redshirt freshman Carson Coffman during the White team's 19-0 victory. He joined another walk-on at wide receiver, Corey Schultz in putting together a decent Saturday. Schultz, a junior college transfer from Dodge City, finished with two catches for 16 yards for the Purple.

Like a former walk-on and current K-State wide receiver did a year ago, Wykes is on a mission. He hopes to take advantage of every opportunity and pass that comes his way.

"Those kids go to junior college to perhaps have a chance to earn a scholarship and some of that is because of the success Daniel Gonzalez had a year ago," Prince said.

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