“He needed to make a play on third-and-11, the rush came and he broke free and ran, broke a tackle and scored a touchdown,” Tebow said. “That was a huge play where most people might say, `Oh, he just ran into the end zone.’ No, if they get stopped there, they go up by six or something and Iowa State might go down and win the game. You never know. But he kind of sealed the deal.”
Klein brushes off the similarities to Tebow, though he’s acknowledged many times that he’s appreciative of the comparisons _ more so for the values that Tebow represents off the field than his jaw-dropping performances on it.
Tebow’s missionary work, particularly in the Philippines, is well known.
“I think I’m very blessed that God has provided my upbringing in a way that I had parents and coaches that invested in me, and provided a foundation to understand what’s really important, and success is fleeting in this world,” Klein said. “There’s bigger things at stake.”
Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett said Klein’s work ethic is what sets him apart.
“He’s a very good practice player,” Klein said. “He works in every area, whether it’s in his throwing, in his vision, in his running, just calling the plays, reading defenses. He’s a student of the game, and when he comes out on the field, we trust whatever he does.”
“He understands his responsibilities,” Snyder said, “and how he needs to handle them.”
Snyder has praised Klein for remaining even-keeled, even as the Wildcats barrel toward a spot in the BCS title game. They’re No. 2 in the standings heading into Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State, and then have three more games left to polish off the school’s first undefeated season.
Then it’s up to the voters and computers to decide whether it’s been good enough.
One thing is certain: Klein has been plenty good enough.
“Hearing that he does it the right way, it’s awesome, because he’s going to have so many kids looking up to him in Kansas who want to be the next Collin Klein,” Tebow said. “That’s more important than what he’s doing on the field right now.”
AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed to this report.
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