PART ONE OF A FOUR-PART SERIES
Kansas State gained more competition at offensive guard and landed a player to watch at wide receiver for the spring game on April 19 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. While junior college transfer Wade Weibert provides ideal size and surprising agility, Adrian Hilburn is a blazer with good hands who try to prove himself during spring practice. D. Scott Fritchen begins his look at the newcomers that arrived for spring workouts and their potential impact heading into the fall.
Wade Weibert • OL • 6-5, 300 • Jr-TR
Butler Community College
What his addition means: RG Gerard Spexarth returns and Brock Unruh is the incumbent at LG, but Weibert could shake things up and at worst provide depth. The OL will be the most experienced in Prince's tenure behind seven players that made multiple starts a year ago (7 seniors, 5 juniors) but the NJCAA All-American will only increase the competition at both guard spots.
Who he could have an edge over entering fall workouts: Edward Prince, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound junior out of Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) CC, who arrives in the fall. It remains uncertain what position(s) Prince might get a look at, though.
What he did at Butler CC: Tenacious blocker with good footwork, great lower-body strength and who is quick in pulling to the edge in running situations and locks up and seals off defenders -- pretty much all the traits that make a lineman a QB's best friend. Weibert is no joke and could be a Brien Hanley type. Looking for the guy that Weibert was blocking after the play? The opponent was likely on his back. The No. 48-rated junior college prospect by Rivals.com and NJCAA All-America selection helped Butler CC to a 23-1 record in two seasons, including the National Football Championship and a perfect 12-0 mark a year ago.
Purple pipeline: K-State has signed five players from Butler CC since 1993. Weibert and OLB Antonio Felder became fourth and fifth on the list and are the first two from Butler under Prince. WR Jimmy Dean (1994), and DT Jermaine Berry and WR James Terry (2002) also arrived from Butler.
Weibert says: "Kansas State is going to be pretty tough during the next couple of years and I want to be a part of that."
Prince says: "We should have some very spirited competition at guard. We think he'll provide that. We like the way he's moved around and the way he's done things in workouts to this point."
Adrian Hilburn • WR • 6-1, 190 • Jr-TR
City College of San Francisco
New Braunfels, Texas
What his addition means: With the loss of Jordy Nelson, Hilburn's arrival means plenty. Entering the spring, the impetus was already going to be on seniors Cedric Wilson and Ernie Pierce, and sophomore Lamark Brown making a push for spots in the rotation. And that was even with Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year Deon Murphy in the mix. Murphy's spring no-show (academics) doesn't help, but he's proven. Hilburn has a clear stage to launch his stock.
Who he could have an edge over entering fall workouts: The three incoming junior college standouts that didn't arrive for the spring but will help to make WR a monster battle in the fall. Aubrey Quarles (No. 20) and Brandon Banks (No. 62) were both Top 100 junior college prospects by Rivals.com and Attrail Snipes was a three-star prospect. In the race for a potential starting spot or a next-in-line berth on the depth chart, establishing any advantage within a position that carries presumably so much potential is huge.
What he did at City College (Calif.) San Francisco: With listed 4.4 speed, good route running and decent hands, Hilburn proved himself as a surefire possession receiver (that's not a bad thing) with the ability to go deep, create with the ball in space and he was hard to bring down. His 40 catches for 516 yards and three TDs helped to lead San Francisco to a 10-1 record and the CCCAA football title - and made him the No. 5-best junior college player at his position nationally and No. 43 overall.
Purple pipeline: Hilburn is the fifth signee at K-State from City College of San Francisco since 1993. Teammate and LT Alesana Alesana arrived a year ago. The list also includes WR Tony Roberts (1993), OL Jesse Keaulana-Kamakea (2002), and defensive backs Bret Jones and Maurice Porter (2004).
Hilburn says: "They've done great with junior college players and what they're doing with the program is really something I want to be a part of."
Prince says: "He has been a significant addition. You can just see how he raised the team speed. I think we have a fast team but he takes it to another level. He's a very good football player that comes from a very good football program."
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