After putting a beating on Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl last season, Kansas State became an instant contender for the Big 12 this season due to the talent they return. However, as we head into fall camp, most of the focus has leaned towards the Sooners and the Cowboys, and Snyder and Co. have been happily flying under the radar.
Unfortunately, with just a couple of week’s until the season kicks off, the Wildcat’s offensive line has taken a significant blow. Heartland College Sports is reporting that starting center Reid Najvar will sit out his senior season, and instead, will be a graduate assistant.
According to GoPowercat.com, Najvar has made the decision to turn in his cleats for a clipboard is due to some concussion related health concerns.
The school has not officially confirm the news, but the announcement is expected within the coming week.
The Wildcats return one of best offensive lines in the Big 12 this year, and Najvar was a big reason why. He burst onto the scene last season, becoming a force up front for the Wildcats. After seeing very limited time in 2014 and 2015, he started in all 13 games last season in route to earning Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors. He was expected to pick up where he left off –abusing Big 12 nose tackles — and was named to the 2017 Rimington Trophy watch list.
His absence would be a significant blow for any offense, but for K-State, any loss of O-line depth is amplified in their ground and pound, take-a-way-your-will-to-live offense.
Thankfully, there is depth behind Najvar. Coaches have been high on sophomore center Adam Holtorf. So much so, there had been talk that Najvar could have been moved to right tackle in an effort to get as much talent along the line as possible. Also, All-Big 12 versatile lineman Dalton Risner is back for his junior year, and Scott Frantz, Abdul Beecham and Tyler Mitchell will help provide depth up front.
It’s always tough to see a player forced to retire due to health concerns. We wish him luck in the next phase of life.