Most Friday night heroes that arrive in the Kansas State football program are used to winning.
Jarvis Leverett is "not" among those.
"My high school team won two games in two years," said the Wildcat redshirt-freshman running back from Cypress Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. Smiling, he added prior to the Fiesta Bowl, "This has been fantastic … one loss in an entire season. This has been so satisfying."
You don't know the name Jarvis Leverett, but the 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back earned the Red Raider of the Year Award for his outstanding efforts on the K-State scout team.
As a prepster on a sub-par team, Leverett was ranked as the eighth-best running back in the state of Texas by the Houston Chronicle, plus was a premier sprinter on the Cypress Lakes track team.
"The scout team is all about being unselfish," said Leverett. "It's tough, but you're there to do whatever it takes to make me a better player and the varsity guys better players. I'll admit, some days you don't want to be out there getting pounded on, but in this program the goal is to have everyone on the same page."
Leverett says he's "not a blazer" and "… more of a one-cut guy" who gains his yards. In his junior year of high school he tore his ACL and in 2011 played on a team that won just a single game.
"Because of the injury and the lack of success of his team, he was under the radar," said KSU run game coordinator Dana Dimel "There were just a couple of reasons people didn't pay much attention to him, but we think he could be a factor."
To the lack of attention, Leverett said, "It doesn't bother me. Texas State recruited me, but I came here and just fell in love with K-State. I'm thankful for where I am. It's a great life." But he admits, some of those days at Cypress Lakes were not the great life.
"Losing was hard. It became hard to believe in yourself and tell yourself, ‘Come on, we're only down 30 in the fourth quarter. We can come back.', " said Leverett. "You weren't playing to win, but you were playing for pride. It wasn't pretty at all."
Laughing, he added, "It was like being on the scout team last year when we were so over-matched."
Dimel called Leverett "… an energizer to our offense. He's non-stop with his energy and others fed off his leadership and his effort."
The Wildcat coach added, "He's 205 pounds and runs a 4.5 today, but I can see him at 220 pounds and running a 4.5 next year."
Leverett understands that John Hubert is in place as KSU's returning running back, plus the likes of Demarcus Robinson and Robert Rose awaiting their turn, he says, "I think I can compete on this team and be in it to play on Saturday. My only desire is to do what it takes to help us win."
Laughing, he said, "Last year I wasn't ready. I would have fallen on my face, but I can see myself on the field next year."