September 3, 2008

Will 2008 see a return of the Mob?

At some point the question begs to be asked. Will there ever be another true "Lynch Mob" defense at Kansas State? Many of the players on the team's current roster were still in middle school when the term describing K-State's swarming defenses of the 1990s and early 21st century was spawned, and though most current players couldn't tell you when, how or why the term was coined, it seems to still be hanging on, though just barely.

"I guess I've heard of (the Lynch Mob), but I've never really paid attention to all that too much." said linebacker Ulla Pomelle, who arrived in Manhattan as a junior college transfer in the spring.

But while Pomelle, who was not familiar with the name "Bill Snyder" before moving to Manhattan just moths ago, may not exactly be in touch with the roots of the program he now represents, that doesn't mean he won't soon become acquainted with them.

You see, along with the titles of captain, leader and All-Big 12 selection, senior defensive end Ian Campbell has also taken on the roll of locker-room history teacher, and the Kansas native is making sure his pupils listen up.

"I've taken it upon myself to inform these guys about what the Lynch Mob was," Campbell said. "I talk about it, but it's not something I want to talk about too much until I think we're ready. I think most guys on the team are getting very familiar with it though."

Campbell, who was raised in Cimarron, Kan., grew up watching some of K-State's best defensive teams and was educated on humble beginnings of the "Lynch Mob Defense" at an early age. So now, the former walk-on has found himself teaching the very subject he studied on Saturdays as a youth.

The senior is not in it alone, however, as he's in frequent contact with Terence Newman and Mark Simoneau, who spoke with the team last weekend, as well as other K-State greats such as former Wildcat linebacker Terry Pierce.

Talk about a guy with mob ties.

"They need to know where we came from," Pierce said. "We got drilled on that. When I came in 1999, it was after an extremely successful 1998 season, but we didn't come in based on the '98 season. We came in thinking about what we were going to do to build on the 1998 season. There was a different mentality back then."

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