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Ravens pull away in second half for 34-27 victory over Saints -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Wildcats prep for Jayhawks -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

KSU beats Purdue in Maui, No. 3 Arizona next -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Tigers earn all-region honors -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Berry out with possible cancer -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

No. 11 Kansas returns to form in 87-60 win -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Lehman named MIAA Player of the Week -11/24/2014, 11:09 AM

Romo rallies Cowboys past Giants for 31-28 win -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Dolphins collapse, lose to Broncos -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Wichita State routs Newman, now 3-0 -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

TCU closing in on program's first Big 12 title -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

KSU's Weber has strong ties with Purdue, Painter -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers' Page wins at UNK Open -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

FHSU soccer falls in quarterfinals -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers move on to Elite Eight -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tiger men pick up second win -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tigers search for new coaches -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Phillipsburg drops a heartbreaker to end season -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

KVA all-state volleyball teams -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Tiger women roll to second straight win -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Knights claim state title -11/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Tigers' Paraguay soccer connection -11/21/2014, 10:56 AM

One last go for Knights' seniors -11/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Phillipsburg one step away -11/21/2014, 10:47 AM

McPherson standout signs with FHSU -11/20/2014, 2:35 PM

Wildcats look to bounce back at Morgantown -11/20/2014, 10:29 AM

Tiger women roll to record win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

FHSU men pick up first win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cavs fumble chance to beat Spurs -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

A's officially sign Butler -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Two Tigers named to MIAA vb team -11/19/2014, 11:13 AM

Jordy Nelson sets early tone for Packers' offense -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kentucky blasts KU -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Defense leads Wildcat women -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

K-State looks to run stronger -11/19/2014, 10:13 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

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Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

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St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

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Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Truman's path to KSU success

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Truman's path to KSU success

Published on -8/15/2014, 10:02 AM

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By ARNE GREEN

Special to The Hays Daily News

MANHATTAN -- When it comes to Kansas State football success stories, Jonathan Truman's is hardly unique.

Countless former walk-ons have gone on to excel in a Wildcat program that prides itself on nurturing and developing in-state talent.

In fact, three of the Wildcats senior captains -- Truman, center B.J. Finney and defensive end Ryan Mueller -- are Kansas natives who arrived in Manhattan without scholarships.

But that does not diminish Truman's accomplishments as he worked his way from weight-room workout wonder to special teams ace and last year as a junior to starting weak-side linebacker.

"It's the quality of character and the value system that Jonathan possesses that is so valuable," K-State coach Bill Snyder said. "He is a bright young guy.

"His journey has been one of hard work and doing things right. That is Jonathan."

Not only did Truman step into a lineup last season that featured nine new starters. He excelled beyond expectations, ranking second on the team to senior linebacker Blake Slaughter in tackles with 89, including 4.5 for loss and two forced fumbles.

Now, with the departure of both Slaughter and Tre Walker, he is the lone returning starter at linebacker and the de facto leader of that position group.

"Last year I learned a lot," said Truman, who must now pass his knowledge on to a young group of returning players as well as late-arriving junior college transfers D'Vonta Derricott and Isaiah Riddle. "The experience I have is something you can't really replace.

"It really just comes down to the preparation we have as a team, as a defense as a whole, I guess."

Though the Wildcats list three linebackers in their base defense, they went with their nickel package most of the time, employing a fifth defensive back. Truman, at 5-foot-11, 219, showed enough versatility to stay on the field along with Slaughter while run-stopping specialist Walker went to the sideline.

"In the Big 12 there's a ton of fast-tempo spread offenses, so we've got to be ready for the speed of the offense and we've got to be ready for both the run and the pass," Truman said of the two-linebacker set. "The two linebackers that are in, no matter what down it is or what situation, we have to be ready for whatever the offense can bring at us."

It is that knowledge and experience that makes Truman a key to the Wildcats' defensive success, especially at the second level.

"There's an added responsibility when it comes to being a senior and a team captain," Truman said. "Just from being here and knowing the system, there's an added responsibility of doing things right.

"When you're a vocal leader and you can back up what you say, that gains a respect from a lot of people."

Truman said he continues to work at becoming a vocal leader.

"When I first showed up in the first few years I was more of a lead-by-example kind of guy, and even now that's more what I may lean towards," he said. "I'm trying to get better at being a little more vocal and communicating better with the guys and I'm not changing my personality at all.

"Being the hoo-rah guy, that's not really me. But just saying things, when people hear me say something, they'll know that I mean it because I don't say that much anyway."

Either way, Truman's actions speak volumes by themselves, according to defensive coordinator Tom Hayes.

"He knows how to play," Hayes said. "He's really a good player on our team and I'm really proud of him.]

"He's one that we can put in front of all our other players and show them, 'You work like this guy works and you can do the same thing.' "

Snyder agreed.

"He is a good leader first and foremost because he sets the example," Snyder said. "There is no player in our program that would not look at Jonathan and say, 'Hey, he works hard, does everything right and does it the way you ask him to do it.'

"He's a good young guy."

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