April 16, 2008

Weibert moves into offensive line role

Dave Weibert enrolled at Kansas State in 1976 but never made it to Manhattan. When his father grew ill, he stayed at home in Hillsboro to help on the family farm. His brother and three sisters were Wildcats instead. So excuse Dave for his excitement as his son wears the school colors that the Weibert family has bled for many years. In fact, it seems Wade Weibert is creating a lot of excitement these days.

Somewhere in the midst of the Wildcats' first 11 practices in the spring, Weibert, a 6-foot-5, 300-pounder, made the competition at offensive guard an absolute battle.

The early progress by Weibert, a mid-year junior college transfer from Butler Community College, makes K-State head coach and offensive line-minded Ron Prince anxious for what could come in the fall.

"I'm always very critical at that position. It's hard to impress at that position. It's hard to flash," Prince said. "(Weibert) has done a really nice job. For him to come in and be able to compete on the offensive line and at guard in particular in his first weeks on campus tells you how dutiful he is in learning everything.

"He's a really solid guy who really wants to do well. His work ethic to learn and to train will really serve him well."

Prince closed spring practices to the public this spring, so it remains difficult to gauge the day-to-day improvement by the NCJAA All-American selection that helped lead Butler to a 12-0 season and the NJCAA Championship title. But Weibert has apparently created an early buzz among an offensive line that already returns seven players who made multiple starts, including five seniors and juniors, which makes it arguably the most solid the group has been since 2003.

In particular, Weibert has made an early push to shake-up the left guard spot that junior Brock Unruh started at during the first five games of 2007.

Seems patience isn't one of Weibert's stronger virtues.

"It's been good, but it's been a big transition trying to pick up a new offense and trying to do it in a short amount of time," said Weibert, who will have three years to play two seasons. "I don't have a lot of patience with myself. The coaches, I'm glad, are really patient with me. I've made a lot of strides the last couple of weeks.

"I feel like I'm a little behind and I really am when compared to everybody else, but at the same time, they all say I'm right on track where I need to be."

The perfectionist approach comes as no surprise to Dave, who called his son an "inspiration to be around."

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