Dalton Risner, the lone returning starter on Kansas State’s offensive line, appears to have switched positions from center to right tackle.
Risner spent the entirety of a public practice Saturday blocking on the right side of K-State’s line while Reid Najvar handled snaps.
The move was the most revealing preview of the upcoming season offered to fans and media at Snyder Family Stadium. It means an already young offensive line will feature new faces at all five positions.
Risner, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound redshirt sophomore, started all 13 games last season and is now a captain. Many expected him to anchor the K-State’s offensive line this year and help lead a supporting cast of four new starters. He will now face the challenge of learning a new position.
Here’s what K-State’s starting offensive line looked like Saturday: Scott Frantz led the way at left tackle, Bryce Fitzner worked at left guard, Najvar was in the middle, Terrale Johnson blocked at right guard and Risner rounded out the group.
There is still time for movement on the depth chart before K-State opens at Stanford on Sept. 2, but the Wildcats traditionally stick with the same offensive line throughout the preseason.
Which quarterback will they block for? That answer is less certain.
All signs point to Jesse Ertz, a junior who won the starting job a year ago before suffering a season-ending knee injury in his first game. He was the top passer on Saturday, hitting receivers in stride down field, while senior Joe Hubener and Alex Delton lacked consistency. But all three quarterbacks split work evenly. K-State coach Bill Snyder wants all three to compete for playing time.
On defense, Craig Settles and Matt Seiwert appear to be competing for a vacant starting spot at tackle. Reggie Walker and Tanner Wood both saw time with the defensive line’s top unit at end.
Junior-college transfer D.J. Reed appears to have a lead on California transfer Cedric Dozier at the cornerback slot opposite Duke Shelley.
There was also a position switch on defense. Former Bishop Carroll offensive standout Denzel Goolsby practiced with K-State’s defense at safety, providing depth with the second string.