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Kansas State Defensive Players to Watch vs. Texas Tech

Kansas State's defense is returning seven starters and could be a sleeper among all FBS programs.

Keep a close eye on Kansas State as perhaps the biggest sleeper in the Big 12. Better yet, keep a close eye on its defense to rank near the top of every FBS category. 

The Wildcats relied heavily on their ability to limit big plays against conference opponents on the way to an 8-5 finish. K-State allowed an average of just 21.1 points per game and finished fourth among Big 12 programs in pass coverage (221.7 yards per game). 

There's a returning starter and role player at every level of the Wildcats. Fourth-year coach Chris Klieman also was able to retain defensive coordinator Joe Klamerman, who received interest from other programs following the team's surge toward the season's end. 

K-State was limited in adding names from the transfer portal, but keep an eye on one junior college commit. He reportedly has adapted to the defense in mere weeks and could be starting by Week 1.  

Is this a concern for Texas Tech on the road? 

Make sure to follow along at as we preview every matchup for Texas Tech during the 2022 season. Now, onto the K-State defensive players Red Raider nation should be keeping an eye on. 

DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Voted as the Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Anudike-Uzomah wants to solidify his impact as one of college football's top defensive linemen entering 2022. He'll have massive expectations to reach after a breakout season last fall. 

The Lee Summit product finished third among all Big 12 players in sacks with 11. Nationally, he finished 11th, surpassing other high-end prospects such as Penn State's Arnold Ebikete, Florida's Brenton Cox Jr., and Texas A&M's DeMarvin Leal. Anudike-Uzomah also finished with a respectable 14.5 tackles for loss against the run, including a four tackles-for-loss outing against TCU. 

DT Eli Huggins 

Huggins made headlines when he elected to forgo the 2022 NFL Draft and return to the Little Apple for one more season. Over the past two seasons, Huggins has recorded at least six tackles for losses. Last year, he tallied a career-high three sacks. 

LB Daniel Green

The leading tackler from last season is set to return up the middle. Green tallied 89 total stops and 16 tackles for loss on the way to a top-10 finish among all Big 12 defenders. For his efforts, the 6-3, 243-pounder was named a Preseason first-team All-Big 12 linebacker. 

Since 2019, Green has played in 36 of 38 total games. In the same span, he's recorded at least 33 tackles and two sacks. Green also has been considered one of the top linebacker prospects entering the 2023 draft. 

CB Ekow Boye-Doe

K-State returns both cornerbacks, but Boye-Doe primarily covered the opposing team's best receiver in 2021. The 6-foot cornerback was highly praised by local reporters for his growth in man coverage and improving footwork. In the past two seasons, Boye-Doe also has recorded eight pass breakups and at least 25 tackles. 

The one area Boye-Doe will likely need to improve on is his ability to create turnovers. In both seasons in the starting role, he has yet to record his first career interception. 

DB Kobe Savage

A transfer from Tyler Junior College, Savage has the rangy tools needed to play the third safety position. He's been credited for having a natural backpedal and the ability to quickly read the quarterback's eyes in coverage. 

In two seasons with the Apaches, Savage tallied 100 total tackles, six interceptions, and four pass breakups. Last season, he posted a career-high 70 stops and returned an interception for a 54-yard touchdown at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. 

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