K-State’s Klein has confident in brother, Kyle

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MANHATTAN, KAN. (AP) - Every week, the pressure on Collin Klein becomes a little more oppressive.

The senior quarterback has No. 2 Kansas State atop the BCS standings with two games standing in the way of likely playing for a national title. Klein’s the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, the poster boy for the program and this week the cover boy for Sports Illustrated.

It’s enough to make even the most ardent Bill Snyder disciple lose focus.

Whenever that focus starts to wane or the spotlight shines so brightly that Klein can hardly see, the star player turns to his closest confidant for a sympathetic ear.

It happens to be his younger brother, Kyle.

And he happens to be his teammate.

“I mean, no doubt about it, other than my wife, he’s my best friend,” Klein said during an interview with The Associated Press. “There’s obviously a businesslike mentality for both of us when we’re on the field, but it’s still totally a brotherly connection as well.”

The truth is that they are rarely on the field together.

The elder Klein has become one of the biggest names in college football, his face popping up everywhere. His younger brother is a backup wide receiver who redshirted last season, and who has yet to catch a pass during his freshman year with the Wildcats.

But the bond that holds them together extends far enough beyond the field. Kyle is one of the first people Collin seeks when he needs a sounding board. Their relationship takes the notion of a brotherhood in the locker room to a literal level, one that is rare in the high-stakes world of college football, where scholarships aren’t handed out to the undeserving.

“It’s truly been a blessing when it worked out that he was able to come and play here,” Collin Klein said. “The times we’ve been able to share growing up in high school, and to be able to extend that into both our college careers, has been invaluable.”

In a coincidence bordering on absurd, the Kleins are just one of four sets of brothers on the roster for the Wildcats (10-0, 7-0 Big 12), who play at Baylor on Saturday.

Senior Anthony Cantele, a Lou Groza Award semifinalist, has been passing along his knowledge to Jack Cantele, a redshirt freshman kicker. Wide receiver Curry Sexton, a key contributor on the Wildcats’ prolific offense, is the brother of Collin Sexton, a redshirt freshman. Senior linebacker Jared Loomis’ brother, Evan Loomis, is also a wide receiver.

Snyder, the Wildcats’ longtime coach, said there isn’t necessarily rhyme or reason to the recruitment of brothers. It’s one of those quirks that just tend to happen. But he also realizes the undeniable benefits to having siblings on the roster.

“Maybe there could be cantankerous relationships or close relationships, or the combination of both,” he said, “but regardless of how you grow up, there’s a family affection that exists, where you truly care about each other. It’s a joy for them to have the opportunity to be together.”

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