The Kansas State Wildcats took the field on Wednesday to kick off spring practice, but they were missing quarterback Jesse Ertz.
After winning the Texas Bowl MVP in a win over Texas A&M following the 2016 season, Ertz underwent shoulder surgery in January. In his first full season as quarterback in Manhattan, he completed over 57% of his passes for 1755 yards, with 9 touchdown passes to 4 interceptions. On the ground, Ertz rushed 183 times for 1012 yards, good for 5.5 yards per carry, with 12 rushing touchdowns.
So with Ertz starting on the sidelines this spring, that means Hays-native Alex Delton will get more snaps this spring. The sophomore rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown through four games. He also threw for 11 yards on six attempts.
Delton came to Manhattan as part of the 2015 class with high expectations. He was ranked a top-five player in the state of Kansas and was rated the 23rd-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation. He hasn’t had much of a chance to show his stuff. He suffered an injury early in the 2015 season and received a medical hardship, which allowed him to redshirt that season. Then with Ertz finally health in 2016, Delton didn’t see the field much.
Overall, this can be a boost for the Wildcats.
Jesse Ertz is now a veteran and a leader, so in theory, missing spring practice should not be a huge issue for him. Assuming he’s back by summer camp, I don’t think it will cost Kansas State much in the 2017 season.
But getting Delton reps this spring can be beneficial for his future in Manhattan and allows Bill Snyder and the rest of the coaching staff to take a closer look and see what they have in the rising redshirt sophomore.
This is all setting up nicely to have Delton be the starter in 2018. I imagine this is how Bill Snyder would like it to unfold, as he’s always had a preference to have a veteran under center.
Also, God forbid, Ertz gets injured again this season (which let’s be honest, is possible, based on his history), these spring reps will be incredibly beneficial to Delton moving forward.
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