October 16, 2007

Wildcats taking pride in special teams

Though it seems like a fitting adjective, the word "special" might not do place-kicker Brooks Rossman and Kansas State's 2007 special teams unit due justice. K-State has players ranked at the top of four separate special team's stat categories this season, and the success the team has experienced in the game's most overlooked facet could be due to a certain swagger and the t-shirt that promotes it.

"The standard here has been set high for special teams," Rossman said. "I want to perform as well as everyone else here does."

The junior place kicker has done just that this season. Rossman, who was named Big 12 special teams player of the week following K-State's win over Colorado last Saturday, ranks first in the conference in total field goals and field goal percentage, and it isn't just Rossman who's turning heads in the Wildcats' kicking game. Punter Tim Reyer and punt return man Deon Murphy also hold the Big 12's top stops in their respective statistical categories, while wide receiver Lamark Brown and tight end Brett Alstatt are getting themselves noticed on Kansas State's kickoff coverage units, making up for a lack of playing time on offense.

"I've been involved on special teams since high school," Brown said. "I'm doing good here, and I'm using it as a way to show what I can do."

Not counting extra points, the Kansas State special teams unit has been directly responsible for 60 of the Wildcats' 220 points this season, and every player on every special teams unit takes pride in being a part something that is perennially among the nations best.

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