T-minus 16 days until K-State kicks off the 2023 football season against Southeast Missouri State. One of the fun things about following your favorite college football team is watching your favorite players perform, develop, and take their place among the greatest players in the school record books. Two players on the 2023 Wildcat football team have an opportunity to stake their claim among the best K-Staters to ever do it at their positions. Quarterback Will Howard and wide receiver and return man Phillip Brooks.
Here’s a little preview of where these two stack up currently and what they need to do during the 2023 season to break some K-State football records.
Currently, Will Howard ranks number 15 in K-State history in passing yardage with 3,143 yards. He needs 1,259 yards to pass Michael Bishop for 10th place all-time. He’d need to play in all 12 games and average about 105 passing yards a game to pass Bishop. It’s pretty likely that Howard will be in the top ten at the end of this season. Howard needs 2,111 yards to pass Chad May for 5th place on the all-time list. If he plays in all 12 games, he’d need to average 175 yards a game to pass May. Last year he averaged 233 yards per game, so I think this is doable. He needs 4,936 yards to pass Josh Freeman for first place all-time, so passing Freeman on the list is unlikely.
Howard is tied with many K-State quarterbacks of the past for the record of passing touchdowns in a game with four. Could he break this record and have five in a game? I’m not sure how likely it is, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do it.
Howard has 24 career touchdown passes. Josh Freeman is K-State’s all-time leader with 44. Howard averaged two touchdown passes a game last season, and if he plays in every game and keeps that pace up, he will become K-State’s all-time leader in touchdown passes. That’s crazy to think about. He can definitely do that in 2023.
Howard is also 10th all-time in total touchdowns with 34. He needs 25 touchdowns to pass Jonathan Beasley and Mickael Bishop for 5th place all-time, and he needs 54 to pass Collin Klein for first place all-time. It’s likely we will see Howard in the top five by the end of the 2023 season. He would need to average 4.5 touchdowns a game to pass his offensive coordinator’s record. I don’t see that happening.
Sixth-year senior Phillip Brooks is 7th on K-State’s all-time list in career receptions with 129. He needs 13 catches to pass Aaron Lockett for 5th place and 121 receptions to pass Tyler Lockett for first place all-time. If he passes Tyler Lockett, I’m sure there will be an asterisk next to his name in the record book. Regardless, it seems unlikely that we will see him pass Tyler Lockett.
Brooks is also 19th all-time in receiving yards with 1,538. He needs 256 yards to pass James Terry for 10th all-time, so we’ll likely see Brooks in the top 10 by the end of this season. He needs 863 yards to pass Aaron Lockett for 5th place and 2,173 yards to pass Tyler Lockett for first place all-time. Even with the extra season of eligibility, it’s unlikely we will see him pass Tyler Lockett.
Brooks is 18th all-time at K-State in all-purpose yards with 2,990. He needs 1,009 yards to pass Malik Knowles for 5th place all-time. Darren Sproles is the record holder with 6,812 yards. Passing Knowles isn’t out of the question, especially if Brooks will be returning kickoffs and punts, but he doesn’t have a shot at catching Sproles.
Brooks is 5th in all-time punt return yards. He needs 1,006 to pass David Allen for first place all-time. I’d be shocked if he returns enough punts this season to catch Allen.
Brooks is 2nd in K-State history in punt return touchdowns with four. He needs 4 to pass David Allen, who has seven, for first place all-time. I think this is unlikely to happen, however, it is quite an accomplishment to be in second place on this list.
It will be a lot of fun watching these two climb into the record books this season.