K-State Gets It's Kicker

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Next season, Kansas State is going to need a player to step in for departing placekicker Anthony Cantele. They may have found there man in Matthew McCrane from Brownwood, Texas. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound kicking specialist committed to the Wildcat program just two days after being offered.

"I'm very impressed with Coach Sean Snyder," said Matthew McCrane. "He's dedicated to building a strong special teams unit. I think he'll do a great job of developing as a kicker at the Division 1 level. When I visited the weekend of the Texas game, the coaches really put the spotlight on me. They did a great job recruiting me and making me feel like I'd fit in well in the program.

"On Sunday Coach Snyder called and offered me on Sunday. I told him I'd get back with him. I stepped back and talked things over with my family and committed today. I'm going back [to Manhattan] on Friday to take my official visit and go to the team banquet."

Kansas State fans are probably familiar with McCrane's head coach, Bob Shipley, at Brownwood. Shipley's sons, Jordan and Jaxon, both went to Big 12 rival, Texas. McCrane started out as a quarterback in high school but soon moved to wide receiver and took over kicking duties.

"Coming in as a sophomore my goal was to play quarterback," McCrane explained. "That year we made it to the state semifinal with Jaxon Shipley. As a junior I set the school record with a 52 yard field goal in the third round of the playoffs. This year I only got six opportunities and made four of them with a long of 47 (yards). I was 26 for 27 on extra points and had 30-plus touch-backs. It was a little tired playing wide receiver then going out to kick. I made 26 catches for 350 receiving yards.

"I think my offer came because of my consistency. While I may not have the strongest leg around, I make up for that by putting the ball through the uprights when it comes down to it."

The Brownwood Lions went 6-5 on the season losing in the first round of the Texas 3A playoffs to Glen Rose. Now McCrane, a December graduate, will begin preparing himself for a possible starting position with next year's Wildcat team.

"The key is not to over kick," McCrane said on his training. "I did that and ended up pulling my groin. You want to stay vigorous though. I've been kicking everyday since the season ended.

"Coach (Sean) Snyder told me he wants me to come in and compete right away. I think I'll be the only kicker on the roster next year on scholarship, so my goal is to win the starting job. I'd like to gain some weight, keep working out, and hopefully get it done."

McCrane's next game will be in February. He was selected to play in the International Bowl featuring Team U.S.A. vs. the World in Austin, Texas on National Signing Day.

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