July 8, 2006

Echols could be key to Cats success

Few players on Kansas State's roster have as much experience as Quintin Echols, a senior defensive tackle who has appeared in all 37 of the Wildcats' games over the past three seasons. Echols started every contest last year and finished sixth on the team in tackles, but during the spring some wondered if the 6-foot, 316-pound Fort Worth, Texas, native would play as big of a role in 2006.

The Story: It's not a secret that K-State's new coaching staff wasn't pleased with the type of shape Echols was in at the start of spring practice. Then officially listed at just 305 pounds, Echols appeared to be closer to 330 on his 6-foot frame, a size that would make it difficult for him to be a productive player down after down.

Echols, who had 45 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season while starting all 11 contests, hardly saw the field at the start of the spring as he gradually worked his way back into shape. Now listed at 316 pounds Echols looks better physically than he did just months ago but still likely has some work to do before K-State's season opener against Illinois State on Sept. 2.

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