August 31, 2008

Valentine finds end zone on first carry

Has a new era arrived, or was Kansas State's 45-6 win over North Texas Saturday nothing more that a product of poor competition? Either way, It didn't take long for K-State newcomer Keithen Valentine to find the end zone. The junior running back scored a touchdown the first time he touched the ball, just more than two minutes into his Division I career, providing the Wildcats with a 7-0 lead and giving himself chills in the process.

"I was as happy as the fans were," he said. "We all came in with goals. For me personally, I wanted to score a touchdown. It felt so good to cross that line on my first carry."

The Mississippi Delta Community College transfer finished his first game in a purple jersey with 67 yards and a touchdown to go along with true freshman Logan Dold's 53 yards on nine attempts.

Valentine and Dold weren't the only K-State newcomers that made significant noise in their debuts, however, as fellow junior college transfer and K-State wide receiver Brandon Banks found the end zone on a pair of occasions during Saturday's victory.

The junior, who at 5-foot-7, 143-pounds, was the smallest player on the field at all times, caught a 30-yard pass in the end zone during the contest's second quarter, and made a return trip shortly after, getting on the scoreboard again in the third.

"I wasn't expecting to have a game this big," Banks said. "I just showed up and did my job."

K-State's newcomers accounted for 263 yards of total offense in the season opener, and Banks and his fellow rookies insist the things fans saw from them were merely a sign of what's to come.

"You should have high expectations for all of us juco guys," Banks said. "I think we're all starting to show that. We just come in every day and do our job for coach Prince."

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