K-Staters draw attention in the NFL draft

K-State Athletics Communications

Cody Whitehair '14 was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 2016 NFL Draft. (Photo: K-State Athletics Communications)

One of the best offensive linemen in program history, Kansas State University’s Cody Whitehair ’14 was selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the No. 56 pick overall. His selection extended K-State’s Big 12-leading streak with at least one player selected in the NFL Draft to 23 straight years.

Whitehair is the ninth player in K-State history to be selected by the Bears and the first since defensive back Joshua Moore ’08 in 2010, while he is the first offensive lineman selected by the organization since Lynn Larson ’70 in 1970. Whitehair’s selection is the 53rd under the tutelage of Hall of Fame head coach Bill Snyder, including the 19th to be selected in the first three rounds.

Whitehair, a native of Abilene, Kansas, was an honorable mention selection for the 2015 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year award and was a two-year watch list member for the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. A first team all-conference selection as a senior, Whitehair also was a Freshman All-American in 2012.

He isn’t the only former Wildcat to draw NFL attention — four former K-State football players signed free agent contracts at the conclusion of the 2016 draft.

Fullback Glenn Gronkowski ’15 signed with the Buffalo Bills, defensive back/kick returner Morgan Burns ’15 signed with the Tennessee Titans while offensive guards Boston Stiverson ’14 and Luke Hayes signed with the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, respectively.

The 2016 K-State football season opens Sept. 2 as the Wildcats travel to Palo Alto, California, to take on Stanford in a nationally televised matchup. Following an off week in which Bill Snyder Family Stadium will host the Wildcat Kickoff music festival featuring the Zac Brown Band and Train, K-State will open its home slate Sept. 17 against Florida Atlantic, which serves as the eighth-annual K-State Family Reunion. 

A limited number of single-game tickets for the 2016 season go on sale online only June 20. All six home games are anticipated to sell out quickly and extend the Bill Snyder Family Stadium sellout streak to 33 games. Visit http://www.k-statesports.com/ for more details.

Can’t wait for fall football season? K-State fans are invited to a special one-time open house for the new state-of-the-art Vanier Family Football Complex from 2-4 p.m. May 8. The tour will begin in the front lobby of the complex, with parking at the facility in addition to the west stadium lot. Fans are encouraged to come anytime during the two-hour window as the open house is currently the only public open date scheduled. For more information, fans can contact the Ahearn Fund Hospitality Office at tours@kstatesports.com.

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