Kansas State released their final two-deep depth chart of the season ahead of the Pop-Tarts Bowl on Dec. 28.
While the depth chart isn’t set in stone, it does offer the closest explanation of what Kansas State plans to do with the departures from NFL Draft declarations and transfer portal departures.
Kansas State’s depth chart doesn’t feature any players who entered the transfer portal and also removes tight end Ben Sinnott and wide receiver Phillip Brooks, who both declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.
K-STATE’S DEPTH CHART
WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
Like many coaches, Chris Klieman has kept his actual depth chart to his chest ahead of the Pop-Tarts Bowl.
Kansas State’s final depth chart features 10 ‘or’ designations, including at starting right guard, right tackle, tight end, middle linebacker, and safety.
The most telling is safety, as it offers a potential sign of who might replace Kobe Savage, who entered the transfer portal.
McCalister has played more than Fabris this season, but defensive coordinator Joe Klanderman mentioned that the team decided to redshirt Fabris once he hit the four-game threshold.
“The thought, probably, with him was that we were not going to redshirt [Fabris],” Klanderman explained. “We got to that four-game threshold and just decided that the amount of reps he was getting in the game probably wasn’t worth his year.”
Because bowl games do not count towards redshirt, Kansas State can play Fabris as much as they want. In a sense, the bowl game is an opportunity for the Wildcats to take the training wheels off and let Fabris play as much as they’re comfortable playing him.
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Defensive end is another position where a younger player could be allowed to “audition” for more playing time ahead of next season.
Nate Matlack’s decision to enter the transfer portal left a spot open along Kansas State’s defensive line for next season.
There was also a prevailing thought that Tobi Osunsanmi would move to the line, but he’s still listed as a backup linebacker.
Offensively, the glaring hole is at tight end, where Sinnott’s departure leaves Kansas State without their established starter.
Will Swanson and Garrett Oakley are listed as co-starters on the depth chart, and it appears that both will see some level of playing time.
Keep an eye on Oakley, as interim offensive coordinator Garrett Riley mentioned him as one of the young players who has impressed him. That doesn’t guarantee significant playing time, but it does provide a glimpse into their overall plan for the game.