Graduate transfers lead the charge to fill void at running back for Wildcats


MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas State Wildcats season in 2018 wasn’t filled with many bright spots, one that saw them finish with a 5-7 record.

One of the exciting parts from that team was the play of running back Alex Barnes. The redshirt junior ran for 1,355 yards and 12 touchdowns, which was tops in the Big-12 Conference.

However, Barnes decided to forego his senior season and is now playing for the Tennessee Titans.

That left new Head Coach Chris Klieman with a little bit of an empty cupboard at the running back position when he arrived in Manhattan.

Flash forward to now, Klieman has two experienced backs leading the charge.

James Gilbert, a graduate transfer from Ball State and Jordon Brown, a graduate transfer from University of North Carolina, are eligible to play immediately.

“It’s not going to be who is the starter or this and that, it’s going to be a running back by committee, anybody can start in this offense,everybody is good enough to play, but I feel like just keep competing and keep getting everybody better in the running back room is going to keep the team pounding away,” said Gilbert.

Both guys have in-game experience and it’s something junior signal caller Skylar Thompson feels is paying off in their transition into K-State’s offense.

“You can tell they have experience, with Jordon and James, both being grad transfers and having in game experience, when they stepped in here, they just picked up on the offense quick,” said Thompson.

The Wildcats will open the 2019 season at home, when they play host to Nicholls State on Saturday, August 31st.

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