April 1, 2007

Pierce hopes to make instant impact

Kansas State received a surprise during its late-night Thursday spring practice, as wide receiver Ernie Pierce, a 6-foot-4, 203-pound wide receiver from Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College who will join the team in the summer, stopped by the indoor practice facility. Before he was formally introduced to applauding teammates by coach Ron Prince at the conclusion of practice, Pierce stood on the sidelines, anxious for the fall.

Ernie, what brings you to Manhattan and to spring practice?
I came here to make sure my housing situation was straightened out and I wanted to bring my girlfriend out here so she could see Manhattan because she's going to be coming here with me, too. We're California, so this is a totally different thing. We both love it here and are enjoying it. We arrived here earlier today, arrived at KCI and took a little jet here. A little bit of turbulence, but it was OK. Coming out here on my recruiting trip, I got to see a little bit and I'm excited for when I get here in late May or early June. I'm going to try and get here as quickly as I can. I want to get accustomed to everyone and some of the new players here like Alesana Alesana. I just like being out here.

Looking back, what was the biggest selling point to you coming to K-State?
On my recruiting visit, they were practicing for Rutgers so we came in here and watched that and got to see a little bit of the film sessions and film breakdowns. I'd probably have to say the coaching staff, especially coach Ron Prince and coach James Franklin. They're very similar to Santa Barbara's coaching staff as far as age group and ethnicity mixing. It's almost the exact same, just in a different geographical setting. On top of that, they beat Texas. The weekend prior to the Texas game, I talked to coach Pat Washington when he was still here. I watched the game and thought, 'I'm going to go there.' It was played the same night as my last game at Santa Barbara. I came home, turned on the TV and saw the score and saw it was 42-28. My mom was with us and I told her, 'Mom, see that team right there? They're talking to me. They're recruiting me.'

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