August 1, 2007

Prince pleased with tailback tandem

Kansas State coach Ron Prince during the Big 12 Media Days in San Antonio last week said he expected sophomore running back Leon Patton to be in fall camp and indicated Patton joined senior running back James Johnson and other teammates this summer in what Prince referred to as an "IEP," or an individual education plan.

In addressing the Wildcats' running back situation less than two weeks before the start of fall camp, Prince reiterated his strong emphasis on summer academics in part while he discussed the strides he expected Patton and Johnson to take on the field this season.

The 5-foot-7, 187-pound Patton led the team with 609 yards rushing and ran for six touchdowns, including one score in each of the final five contests. Although Patton missed the spring with a sprained ankle and was expected to be OK for training camp, his exact status with the team became a summer topic when rumors centered on his academic standing and other speculated team infractions.

"I anticipate Leon being in camp and participating with us and doing well and every player has a little different circumstance in the summer," Prince said. "I think that's a good thing. When all of us were in college the demands on the year-round schedule weren't quite the same. Guys went out and got jobs and all of these different things. It's just changed now.

"Every now and then somebody has to stop and take a step back and say, 'OK, what do we really need to accomplish for the long-term here?' Those are some of the things we're trying to do with a number of players and I expect Leon to have a very good season."

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