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On3’s J.D. Pickell: ‘Kansas State is Going to Be So Annoying to Play Against’

Dec 28, 2023; Orlando, FL, USA; Kansas State quarterback Avery Johnson (2) runs for the touchdown against NC State in the second quarter at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

After adding a key piece through the transfer portal in former Colorado running back Dylan Edwards, Chris Klieman and the Kansas State Wildcats appear to have a loaded roster ahead of the 2024 season.

On3’s J.D. Pickell confirmed that fact on Thursday and mentioned just how much work will go into game planning to prepare for the Wildcats.


“The reigning Pop-Tarts Bowl Champion, Kansas State Wildcats, are going to be so annoying to play against,” Pickell said. “Like scheming up against this offense is going to be just absolutely miserable every week because their rushing attack legitimately has three different options.”

While first-year starter Avery Johnson has some big shoes to fill in the fall with the program’s all-time passing touchdown leader, Will Howard, departing for Ohio State, Johnson has been nothing short of sensational when provided opportunities to see the field. The Kansas native led the Wildcats to a 29-19 win over No. 18 NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl, where he posted 249 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns.

Joining Johnson in the backfield is one of the nation’s best running back rooms with junior running back DJ Giddens, who finished as the Big 12’s fifth-leading rusher in 2023, alongside the addition of outstanding running back Dylan Edwards. Giddens posted 223 carries for 1,226 yards and 13 total touchdowns as a sophomore, all while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Edwards, despite being underutilized at Colorado in his freshman season, showcased himself as a serious home-run threat with 620 all-purpose yards and five total touchdowns.

“You’ve got Avery Johnson, who is going to be absolutely electrifying for you playing quarterback, a real home-run hitter when he tucks it and runs,” Pickell continued. “You’ve got Dylan Edwards, who transferred over from Colorado, then back home to Kansas State, and then DJ Giddens, a 1200-yard back that no one seems to be talking about. You’ve got to pick your poison, especially if they go split-back, back there, It’s a little read option; who’s got it? Is it Avery Johnson on the outside, or is it Dylan Edwards to the left? It’s going to be miserable.”

Big 12 defensive coordinators will have their shot at slowing down K-State’s loaded offensive attack shortly after the season kicks off on Saturday, August 31st, against the UT Martin Skyhawks.

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