May 8, 2006

Linebackers should be team strength

Kansas State may have some question up front, but from the looks of things there is little to be worried about in the back seven of the Wildcat defense.

The strength of K-State's roster may in fact fall with its linebackers, where senior Brandon Archer leads a deep and talented group that should be one of the Big 12's best come fall.

THE GOOD NEWS: Archer has racked up a total of 147 tackles as a starter the past two seasons and has made perhaps more big plays than anybody in the program during that time span. He's grabbed three interceptions as a two-year starter and returned every one of his picks for touchdowns. Preseason All-Big 12 honors are possible for this fifth-year senior.

Archer may be the best of the bunch, but big things are expected from senior middle linebacker Zach Diles. Diles is likely K-State's most physically gifted linebacker and made 50 tackles a season ago without making a single start.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Diles had the middle spot locked up at the end of the spring, but he'll still have to hold off junior college transfer Justin Roland this fall.

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