The top 10 players returning to the Kansas State Wildcats for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Malik Knowles, WR
2. Skylar Thompson, QB
3. Josh Rivas, OL
4. Wyatt Hubert, DE
5. Elijah Sullivan, LB
6. AJ Parker, CB
7. Jonathan Alexander, S
8. Phillip Brooks, WR
9. Jahron McPherson, CB
10. Daniel Green, LB
Honorable Mention: Drew Wiley, DI
Knowles is the breakout candidate of the year award winner from us at Sixth Year, a year after he caught 27 passes for 397 yards and three scores. He returns with Brooks to form a dynamic duo that should see a bevy more targets with Dalton Schoen gone. Knowles is as dynamic as he is long with the way he plays and he routinely makes highlight-reel plays on balls thrown with less accurate marks than most. He can make defenders miss with the blink of an eye and take it the distance with top-end speed.
Thompson was on a tear to start the year before he came back down to reality but he has elite-level play in him. With another year in the system, there is no doubt that he can return to form as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, perhaps even better than he was to start the year last year.
Rivas is a dominant force on the line and should pave the way once again for a potent ground attack with Thompson leading the way.
After Knowles and his counterparts on offense, this team should be led by defense in 2020. Hubert dominated action last year against the pass and recorded a team-high 52 pressures. Sullivan is a terrific off-ball linebacker and tied for the team-lead in tackles a season ago while Parker recorded three picks and two more pass breakups on fewer than 40 targeted passes as the primary coverage defender.
Then there's McPherson and Alexander in the secondary. Alexander played just barely 250 snaps a season ago but flashed when he was on the field, routinely stuffing running backs or making plays on the ball. McPherson may miss some tackles with his brand of football but oftentimes makes up for it with plays on the ball in coverage.
This team is supremely loaded at the top with some great depth on the defensive side of the ball based off small samples from a season ago.