FRISCO — K-State head coach Bill Snyder spoke to the media at the 2017 Big 12 Media Days in The Star football complex in Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon. Snyder discussed how his team’s offseason has been going, as well as different questions about the Big 12. Snyder opened his media session by talking about the state of the Big 12.
“I read so much about the Big 12 conference maybe not being as prolific, or as strong, etc. I can assure you that under Bob (Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner)’s leadership, and the wonderful people at the Big 12 office who have been amazing, and all the great universities in the conference, I don’t think the conference is under any jeopardy whatsoever. It’s not nearly as weak as some might want to portray in some of the media outlets,” Snyder said.
Snyder gave some of his thoughts about how his team handled K-State offensive lineman Scott Frantz coming out as a gay man last week.
“Scott wanted to make it public knowledge this year. He shared that information with his teammates over a year ago. I appreciated our players’ response , the response of our coaches, and Scott’s responses to his teammates. Their thought was ‘okay, fine, let’s move on’. They cared about him, and he cared about them. It wasn’t a major issue. This year, (Frantz) had come to me and asked about being able to make that public statement. I had some uncertainty about it at that particular point in time,” Snyder said. “We talked about the impact that it might have on social media, the response of the fan base, and the world. What impressed me so much and what allowed me to contact Holly (Rowe, the ESPN reporter who interviewed Frantz last week) about it was the fact that he wanted to do it for the right reasons. He wanted to help others. That was important to me. He also wanted the opportunity to feel free to live his life.”
Snyder talked about what momentum his program might have after being picked No. 3 in last week’s preseason Big 12 poll.
“I’m not naive to the fact that the players are certainly going to pay attention to that. They read everything that’s put out. We flew down (to Dallas) in the plane for an hour and 20 minutes or so. All five of the tremendous young people we brought are buried in their phones. Some of that was goofy video games, but it was also gaining knowledge. It’s amazing what young people are exposed to. We’ve never approached a season any differently. We have a reasonably large number of returning players. It’s not about who you have back, or how many you have back. It’s really about how you prepare yourself. That’s the important thing for us. My caution to our players would be to not take anything for granted. You still have to play the game,” Snyder said.
Snyder gave some of his thoughts on the progress that he has seen from senior quarterback Jesse Ertz this summer.
“I’m awfully pleased with Jesse in a lot of different ways. (Ertz) is a tremendous young man. He’s another one of those young guys who has a great core value system. He’s a hard worker, he’s disciplined, he’s dedicated, and he cares. He’s (at Big 12 media days) because he’s a captain in our program. I saw him throw this spring, and I thought he came back and threw well. Since that time he’s gotten stronger and stronger. I think he’s throwing the ball better than he ever has. The players are telling me that in workouts (Ertz) is throwing the ball as hard and accurately as he has at any time in his career,” Snyder said.
The Wildcats will open the 2017 season on Sept. 2 against Central Arkansas at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.