It has become old hat by now.
For the 27th time in his coaching career, Bill Snyder will direct Kansas State's football team during spring practice.
The Wildcats will hold 15 practice sessions, capped by the annual Purple/White spring game, which kicks off at 1:10 p.m. April 21 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Heading into K-State's first practice on Wednesday, here are a pair of key storylines to keep tabs on throughout the spring, with an eye toward the regular-season opener versus South Dakota on Sept. 1.
It's far and away the most pressing question for the Wildcats: Who holds the edge between Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson at the game's most important position? At this point, it might be a coin flip.
Delton took over at quarterback after senior starter Jesse Ertz went down with an injury in a double-overtime loss at Texas on Oct. 7. He started the next three games before he was felled by an injury of his own in the first half of the Sunflower Showdown at Kansas on Oct. 28.
On came Thompson.
A redshirt freshman, Thompson helped the Wildcats hold off the Jayhawks in a tougher-than-expected 30-20 win. One week later, Thompson came off the bench following another Delton injury, lifting K-State to a 42-35 overtime road triumph against Texas Tech. Thompson went on to start and win games at then-No.10 Oklahoma State and in the regular-season finale versus Iowa State, finding Isaiah Zuber for a 1-yard score as time expired in the 20-19 thriller.
But in the Cactus Bowl against UCLA, the roles reversed: Thompson struggled, leading Snyder to bring in Delton to spark the offense. And spark it he did, accounting for four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing) to earn the game's offensive MVP award in a 35-17 victory for K-State.
If one emerges as the clear leader this spring, Snyder might go ahead and end the competition. But don't be surprised if the announcement doesn't come until late August -- just before the opener.
New coaches abound
Former defensive coordinator Tom Hayes retired. Former offensive coordinator Dana Dimel is running his own program at UTEP. So naturally, the lion's share of the attention will be on the Wildcats' new coordinators: Andre Coleman, promoted from receivers coach to run the offense, while Blake Seiler went from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator.
Of note, both Coleman and Seiler are in the first year as coordinators at the college level. How much of their predecessors' playbooks will they keep? And how many of their own wrinkles will they add? That won't be known until the fall, as it's unlikely they'll show much of anything during the spring game.
But Coleman and Seiler aren't the only coaches in new roles.
Offensive line coach Charlie Dickey and quarterbacks coach Collin Klein are now co-offensive coordinators, with the former directing the running game and the latter leading the passing game.
K-State hired Brian Norwood from Tulsa as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach. And on offense, the Wildcats brought back a pair of alums. Former offensive lineman Zach Hanson was named the tight ends coach while former star running back Eric Hickson guides his old position group.