At 6-4, 210-pounds, wide receiver Ernie Pierce is somewhat of a physical specimen. The current student at Santa Barbara City College (CA), originally recruited from National City (Ca.) Sweetwater, has a rare combination of size and speed that gives him great potential.
"Ernie has improved a lot just since he's been here," said Santa Barbara head coach Reggie Bolton. "I knew he had a lot of potential when he came in here, and he looks a lot better now.
"He's worked hard and gotten a lot stronger and a lot faster. If he keeps doing what he's doing he could be very good. He should Kansas State a lot next year."
Pierce runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, using long strides to beat opponents in the open field. His strength gives him the ability to break the tackles of smaller defensive backs, and coupled with his height gives him an advantage in every jump ball situation.
This year for Santa Barbara, Pierce caught 36 passes for 661 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns, showing good vision and acceleration.
"There were other schools recruiting him, but when Kansas State got involved I think he pretty much made up his mind about were he wanted to be," said Bolton. "He visited the school this past weekend and it just confirmed his decision. They're getting a good one."
While Pierce is the first wide receiver to commit to K-State in the Class of 2007 several others have the potential to play the position. That's good news for freshman quarterback Josh Freeman, who will have to find new targets next year with seniors Yamon Figurs and Jermaine Moreira graduating.