Kansas State strikes juco gold, again

Kansas State’s long-standing tradition of bringing in the top junior college talent in the country continued on Wednesday night with the commitment of top inside linebacker Dvonta Derricot (Garden City, KS./Garden City Community College).

Derricott, who announced his decision via Twitter (@dvonta20), chose the Wildcats over offers from Wisconsin, Baylor, Minnesota, South Florida and West Virginia.

His decision was surprising, but welcoming news, for Garden City C.C. head coach Matt Miller, a former Kansas State quarterback and coach.

“I don’t think that you can go to a better program,” Miller said. “Obviously I am a little bias. I played for Coach [Bill] Snyder and coached there for over 10 years. Going to Kansas State has never been a bad decision for anyone.”

Given Derricott’s seemingly unlimited athletic ability, it shouldn’t be a bad decision for him either. Not with the way Coach Snyder has proven time and time again that he’s one of the best coaches in the country at molding juco talent into elite-level FBS players.

He’ll try to do exactly that this upcoming season with three of the top juco players in the country, who signed scholarships in 2013. They are Nate Jackson, the No. 3 cornerback overall, Jake Waters, the No. 1 pocket-passer in the country, and Devon Nash the No. 8 defensive end overall.

In two years, time he’ll get his chance with Derricott, who couldn’t have been talked up anymore by his head coach.

“D’Vonta is one heck of a football player,” said Miller, who graduated from KSU in 1996. “At linebacker, we have Jeff Kelly here, who was an All-American at Kansas State and played for the Atlanta Falcons. We have Joe Gordon, who was an All-American at Kansas State, coaching on the defensive side of the ball. They tell me that he is the most talented linebacker we’ve seen and we’ve had some good ones go through here and Kansas State. He’s everything you want.”

Just how athletic is the 6-foot-1, 233-pound prospect?

“He’s so athletic that he goes out and plays press corner against our receivers and they can’t get by him,” Miller said. “He is a 4.4 40 guy. He has a motor and can hit.

“There isn’t another linebacker at the junior college ranks in the country that has that athletic ability. His talent, if he develops it, can easily get him to the next level at the NFL. He’s that talented of a football player. He’s really come around as a team leader for us this year. He is special. He is rare.”

Derricott is the 15th commitment for KSU in 2014 and the seventh since July 27. He’s the first juco player in the class but is surely not going to be the last if the past is any indication. KSU has signed 32 juco players since 2010.

“When you go there, it is a very discipline program,” Miller said. “Young men need discipline. Coach Snyder knows how to coach talent, has always had a great defense. He’s one of the best in the past 20 years. For D’Vonta to be able to join that group is great for him. It’s only going to do great things for D’Vonta not only as a football player but as a person.”