Collin Klein’s game is rarely included in ESPN Sportscenter highlights. Occasionally he will break out a 30+ yard touchdown run, like he did Saturday night against the TCU Horned Frogs. But for the most part, he will grind your team down, wearing them out by the third quarter with runs of 4, 5, and 6 yards. Then, when you least expect it, he will light up a scoreboard with a touchdown pass. He has been the model of consistency for the nation’s #1 team.
Many football analysts have referred to Collin as this season’s Tim Tebow. Like Tebow, Klein is considered the favorite for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and could the third player in NCAA history to throw 20 passing touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns in the same season (Tebow, Cam Newton). But unlike Tebow and Newton, there is no flash in Collin’s game, no post-game rally speeches, and no fan-mania.
Collin was lightly recruited coming out of his Colorado high school (he received only 2 scholarship offers), and before the 2011 season, hardly anyone outside of Manhattan, Kansas knew who he was. Under the leadership of Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, Collin simply broke the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) for rushing touchdowns in a season by a quarterback (27). He did all this battling injuries such as broken ribs, broken thumb, and a separated throwing shoulder. His toughness is incredible.
But ask him about any one of his performances over the past two seasons and all praise is deflected to his teammates while accepting blame for any offensive or team struggles. His play speaks for him and his focus is on lifting up his teammates. Collin Klein is the unquestioned leader of the Wildcats.
There is no flash to his game, but if he wins, who cares? Some people in life have the star power. Others simply put their nose to the grind and hustle hard, proving in the end to be as powerful, sometimes more, than those with flash. Consistency is a highly valuable trait. Ignore the flash, focus on the task at hand, and bust your ass. Collin Klein proves a winner doesn’t need to grab the headlines or highlights to win. He or she simply needs to be consistent and compete every day.