K-State Finalizes 2020 Class with Signing of Three Players

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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman put the finishing touches on his second signing class in Manhattan on Wednesday as three student-athletes have agreed to be part of the Wildcat football program.

Signing on Wednesday were defensive end Tyrone Taleni in addition to offensive linemen Hadley Panzer and Sam Shields.

Coupled with the early signing period, K-State’s 2020 Signing Class features 20 high school student-athletes and six community-college transfers.

This year’s class includes 13 players on defense, 11 on offense and there are two athletes. The class is comprised of five defensive backs and offensive linemen, four defensive ends, two apiece of defensive tackles, linebackers, running backs and tight ends, while there is one quarterback and one wide receiver.

Of the 26 total signees, 12 are currently on campus and will take part in spring practices, which begin on Wednesday, March 18, and culminate with the final practice – which is free and open to the public – on Friday, April 17 inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

The players from this year’s class that are currently enrolled include: offensive lineman Dawson Delforge, defensive back Tee Denson, defensive end Kirmari Gainous, linebacker DeMarquesse Hayes, defensive tackle Robert Hentz II, quarterback Will Howard, tight end Christian Moore, defensive tackle Derick Newton, Shields, defensive back TJ Smith, tight end Will Swanson and offensive lineman Carver Willis.

Kansas State opens the 2020 season on Saturday, September 5, when it hosts Buffalo inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.