KANSAS CITY, Mo. Before you weep for No. 7, we offer up this story:
It's spring 2012, and Kristin Waller's voicemail is piling up. Waller is an academic counselor and life skills coordinator with the Kansas State athletic department, which means one of her major tasks is scheduling Wildcat players with the various charities and civic groups that have requested an appearance on their behalf. She aims to please, but these are busy kids, after all, and only so many hours in the day.
In the spring of 2011, before his breakout junior season, Waller figures she received about 25 requests for Klein, the Wildcats' dual-threat quarterback. The next year, it was 50. At least.
At one point, she remembers sitting down with Klein in her office, going over the list, trying to figure out a way to squeeze in what they could.
"We try to help them say, 'No,' if at all possible, so it's not coming from the kids, and each program kind of handles their own (calendars)," Waller recalled. "As staff, ...