Douglas signs to play at Kansas State University
They've called Ethan Douglas a sleeper. They've called him a two-star prospect. They say he has talent but is raw. They call him one of the best prospects in the entire state of Kansas.
While Douglas admits to reading some of what is written about him on the vast array of recruiting-based websites, he insists he doesn't pay any attention to it.
"I would rather look and see what my competition will be like," Douglas said. "I don't care what other people think of me, necessarily. I've read the reports from Scout and Rivals, but it's just not a huge deal to me."
Long before Douglas faxed his letter of intent to Kansas State to officially become a Wildcat last Wednesday, pundits from around the country had weighed in with opinions on the impact the star Basehor-Linwood offensive lineman would have in Division I-A football.
ESPN.com, who rated Douglas the 101st best offensive tackle in America, gives this scouting report on the current Bobcat:
"Douglas is a good sized line prospect that is able to smother smaller defenders. His frame suggests that he should be able to add more bulk as he enters a college weight program. He makes solid initial contact and against smaller opposition can create a running lane."
Douglas said ESPN knows a lot about football, but he knows what he has to improve on. His own critique is that he has to improve his strength and speed to succeed at the next level.
Douglas said he doesn't find the 'sleeper' label flattering, but he thinks it was given to him because he gained attention from large schools later than most of his contemporaries.
This year's Kansas State recruiting class has come under fire from experts who claim Ron Prince signed far too many junior college prospects as a quick fix for a coach that might be feeling the heat. ESPN.com rated the Wildcats class as a "C-."
"I think they are making a mistake. I really do," Douglas said. "I think we are going to be really good next year. I thought it is a great class. He (Prince) did a real good job."
Douglas said the team has adequately filled the gaps of players lost to graduation.
BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said Kansas State is a great opportunity for Douglas both "educationally and athletically."
"K-State has a wonderful tradition in the past 15 years, competing in bowl games, and looks to rebound in the near future," Hopkins said. "They believe Ethan has the chance to compete right away and are not committed to redshirting Ethan, but to give him every opportunity to push those already there and to compete to play now."
Douglas will move to Manhattan in June and participate in summer workouts. He said he doesn't want to redshirt, but he will if the team asks him to.
"I don't want to be redshirted," Douglas said.
"But I have to prove it. It will take lots of hard work. I want to work my butt off and make a difference."