For the first time in a long, long time, a K-State press conference was thrown and Collin Klein was not the man in the spotlight.
At Sunday morning’s gathering of the media it was Chris Harper that gathered the most microphones and poised pens as the Wildcat wide receiver was asked and re-asked to reflect on his days as an Oregon Duck in 2008.
“I didn’t remember any of the names, but some of the faces were familiar,” said Harper of the Oregon media types.
“I think some of them wanted to stir up some bad blood, but I have no hard feelings about Oregon. I had already committed to K-State, but Oregon was a place where my parents wanted me to go, so that’s where I went. But I liked (Chip) coach Kelly and I don’t regret my one year there one bit.”
Laughing, Harper said what he does regret is talking to the Wichita Eagle Newspaper at the end of that first season in 2008.
“I was lonely, not happy and just ready to come home for Christmas,” said Harper. “In the story I said I didn’t like it, and said the girls weren’t pretty and the girls were pretty in Kansas. It was stuff said that was relative to me not being around my family.”
Laughing, he continued, “What can I say? I was young. I don’t have regrets to what I said because I said them, but today I wouldn’t say those things again.”
A PrepStar All-American out of Wichita Northwest High School as a quarterback, Harper was a hit with the Ducks becoming the first player in eight years to run, pass and catch a touchdown in the same season.
“It only came down to being around family and going where I wanted to go in the first place,” said Harper.
Of going against some old friends and his former school, coach Bill Snyder said, “Chris is Chris. I don’t think he will be overwhelmed.”
And as Harper said, “I don’t care who we’re playing. I’m going to win. If I’d be playing my mom and dad, I’d be out to beat them, too. It’s not about me trying to get revenge at all. I hope I’m a marked man (by Oregon) because I’m making plays on the field, but for no other reason.”
After redshirting at K-State in 2009, Harper took to the field in 2010 when he caught 25 passes with four of those being TDs, and followed with a 40-catch year in 2011 with five scores, and now improved to 50 snares for 786 yards and three scores.