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Defensively, the strength may lie in the secondary. Returning are Tysyn Hartman, Emmanuel Lamur and Troy Butler. Hartman suffered a knee injury in the season-ending loss to Nebraska but had a team-leading five interceptions.

Adam Davis, a defensive end who starred last year at Hutchinson Community College, was being counted on to shore up the line. But a disk problem will require surgery and sideline him this season. Davis had 23 sacks in two years in junior college and his loss could hurt.

“We need to come together,” said Lamur. “But the whole defense has room to improve. We are a team, so it is not just the defensive line or the linebackers or the secondary. We all have areas we can improve.”

Various projections have the Wildcats picked anywhere from third to sixth in the Big 12 North following last year’s 6-6 campaign.

Snyder said he’s equally uncertain how things may turn out.

“Teams are different year-in and year-out,” he said. “They’re always going to be different, no matter what. You can have all of them back or none of them back. Things are always going to be different.”

Kansas State kicks off its 12-game regular season schedule Sept. 4 with a visit from UCLA.