Snyder hopeful QB Klein will be ready to play

By ARNE GREEN

Special to The HDN

MANHATTAN - Bill Snyder came as close Tuesday as he has so far to declaring Collin Klein his starting quarterback for No. 3-ranked Kansas State's game Saturday night at TCU.

"Would I expect him to play? I certainly hope that's the case and I would expect that to take place," Snyder said during his weekly press conference after explaining why he would not go into further detail.

Klein, the Wildcats' senior Heisman Trophy candidate, left last Saturday's victory over Oklahoma State in the third quarter after scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run that put K-State up 38-17. There was speculation after he spent the rest of the game without his helmet on that Klein may have suffered a head injury.

"I hope you understand my interest in our players is beyond football and I always want to do the right thing for the young people in our program," Snyder said of Klein's injury.

"I think any coach in the country would feel exactly the same way," Snyder added. "I don't want to put any young person in any kind of jeopardy, and that's why I don't address injuries."

Snyder said it was his decision not to make Klein available to the media to discuss the upcoming TCU game.

"He was perfectly comfortable with coming and visiting," Snyder said. "I wanted not to put him through that because I knew the bombardment he would have to endure.

"He was perfectly willing to do so. He's that kind of young guy."

With K-State at 9-0 overall, 6-0 in the Big 12 and second in the BCS rankings, Klein's injury has become a national story.

Senior tight end Travis Tannahill admitted it has been a topic of conversation everywhere he turns.

"Dozens," he said when asked how many times people had questioned him about Klein's status. "We're probably hitting close to 100 now.

"You just kind of shake it off, say, "I know, but I'm not really allowed to tell.' You want to stay in Coach's good graces."

Klein has accounted for 66.5 percent of K-State's offensive yards this season with 1,875 yards passing and 698 rushing. His 102 points scored lead the Big 12.