August 28, 2007

K-State's triple threat

Even after the spotlight left when the TV cameras clicked off inside the Vanier Football Complex on Monday afternoon, Deon Murphy, standing virtually alone, was eager to share his dreams. He wants to make history at Kansas State. He wants to dazzle and perform like nobody else. He had no idea he could be on the cusp of achieving one remarkable feat when the Wildcats face No. 18 Auburn on Saturday.

K-State has mined some outstanding junior college wide receivers over the years. But get this: None of those eventual Big 12 stars - not Darnell McDonald, Quincy Morgan, James Terry or Yamon Figurs - jumped into a Wildcats uniform and became a triple threat, as in starting at wide receiver and as both a punt and kickoff returner, in their first season.

Figurs in 2004 became the first junior college wide receiver since, well, in a long time, to come to K-State and start in his first game. McDonald didn't earn his first start at wide receiver until six games into 1997. Morgan was brilliant in 1999, but that was after he redshirted the 1998 season. Terry started in his second game.

Only Figurs and McDonald returned punts in their first season.

So no, none of the stars-to-be caught balls from quarterbacks, punters and kickers in their first season. And only Figurs did so as a senior.

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