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K-State to Open 2021 Football Season in Allstate Kickoff Classic

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kansas – Kansas State will kick off the 2021 season on September 4 against Stanford at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as the two teams have been chosen for the 2021 Allstate Kickoff Classic, which annually hosts the premier season-opening contest in college football.

“We were honored when AT&T Stadium contacted us about potentially playing in this prestigious game,” Athletics Director Gene Taylor said. “The idea of taking a home game away from Manhattan and Bill Snyder Family Stadium is a big decision, and as a staff and university, we feel that it is an opportunity that we could not pass up.

“Our student-athletes will have the opportunity to play in one of the world’s finest venues, and Kansas State University and our football program will be in the national spotlight. Our fans have always enjoyed traveling to Arlington, and of course the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is one of our top markets for out of state graduates, and the 7,000-plus alums in the area will have the opportunity to support our team in person.”

The game will be the 12th contest to kick-off the college football season, the first as the Allstate Kickoff Classic and will mark the Wildcats’ second appearance at the venue. Past kickoff games in AT&T Stadium have included some of the nation’s best programs such as Alabama, Michigan, Auburn, Wisconsin, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon and Florida, among others.

“We’re very excited to welcome a terrific new partner in Allstate as the premier sponsor of this iconic game that will kick off the 2021 college football season,” said Stephen Jones, Chief Operating Officer of the Dallas Cowboys. “Here in Texas and across the country, the return of college football each year is a very special time. Because of Allstate’s enthusiastic support and partnership, the Allstate Kickoff Classic will continue to be a yearly must-see event. And given all that has happened in 2020, there can be no question that in 2021 this game will have special significance as together we bring back the great fans, pageantry, history and traditions of college football as we’ve always known it.”

The Wildcats will be making their fourth appearance in the DFW area in non-conference games following Cotton Bowl appearances in 1997, 2001 and 2012.

“We are excited to be able to play a high-profile football game in one of our top recruiting markets,” said Richard B. Myers, president of Kansas State University. “K-State has nearly 15,000 alumni and friends in Texas, with half of those in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our fans are familiar with the area and will, no doubt, turn out to support the Wildcats.”

With the season opener being moved to Arlington, the Wildcats will still have seven additional home games in Manhattan in 2021, including non-conference matchups with Southern Illinois (9/11) and Nevada (9/18), and five Big 12 home contests. The full schedule with dates and ticket information will be announced in the coming months.

“Playing a quality opponent such as Stanford in one of the world’s top sporting venues is a chance for us to showcase our program to recruits all over the country. I know our players are excited for the challenge and the opportunity that it presents.”

2021 Non-Conference Schedule

Sept. 4 vs. Stanford Arlington, Texas
Sept. 11 Southern Illinois Manhattan
Sept. 18 Nevada Manhattan

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