July 20, 2024

Brendan Mott confident several leaders will emerge over the spring

Kansas State Wildcats Football

Kansas State defensive lineman Brendan Mott (38) attempts to block a punt during the third quarter against Baylor Saturday November 11, 2023 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State’s senior edge rusher is excited about spring ball, but understands what comes with the territory for the veterans on the team.

Brendan Mott has ambitions of anchoring the Wildcats’ defensive line this upcoming season, and he’s ready to build on the 27 tackles he made in 2023. That means he has to bring the intensity to all of the 15 practices Kansas State will have over the next four weeks.

The six-foot-five, 240-pounder considers himself a leader, and wants to be Kansas State’s poster boy when it comes to responsibility and holding his teammates accountable.

“It’s a role that’s uncomfortable at times, but it’s necessary to make an average team a great team,” Mott said. “I think this team has a lot of potential, and we can be really special, so I’m super excited to be part of that for this upcoming season.”

The defense is still operating under Joe Klanderman, and his unit finished fifth in the Big 12 against the run last year. That’s something Mott wants to improve, and he believes the defense can accomplish that and much more. The Iowa native wants his teammates to continue pushing each other to their potential, and is confident the coaches will put them all in the best places to be successful.

“I think that we have the playmakers, we have the talent, we just need to keep continuing to grow, and the leaders on the defense need to take that lead,” he said. “Our coaches are great, they know what needs to be done, but at the end of the day it’s a player-led team, and the older guys on defense like myself need to really take that charge.”

From flexibility, to shedding through the blocks, penetrating backfields and batting down balls at the line of scrimmage, Mott is trying to improve everything with his pass rush. Mott showed what he’s capable of after a promising 2023 campaign, when he generated nearly five tackles for loss and a sack.

With Khalid Duke off to the NFL, Klanderman needs Mott to step up to the plate, and be the enforcer up front. Not to mention Kansas State has an All-Big 12 caliber defender at every level of its’ defense, including linebacker Austin Moore and safety Marques Sigle.

It helps that Mott has the experience, after starting all 13 games last season. Having depth is going to be important in the physical Big 12, so Mott is making sure the players around him are on the same page and taking advice. After all, he wants to lead by example, while the youngsters soak up his football knowledge like a sponge.

“Just working out with these younger guys, I’ve had the ability to kind of see these older guys that left, their work ethic, how they came in and attacked everyday,” the 22-year old said. “I think a lot of young guys on this defense are going to be special and help us next year.”

Bottom line, Mott is glad that he returned to the Wildcats for a final year, and wants to make the most out of the opportunity. This is how players build legacies, and Mott is still in the process of creating his own with the program.