Being from Atchison still drives Wykeen Gill.
“Not too many people make it out of Atchison,” Gill said. “Being from Atchison, Kansas motivates me every day. Most of my family still resides there and that’s basically who I do it for.”
The Kansas State junior wide receiver said he is never shy about letting people know he is from a smaller town.
“I’m at this school with a lot of big city guys,” Gill said. “I still let it be known where I’m from and it just puts a big chip on my shoulder.”
However, Gill isn’t the only Wildcat whose origins are from this small town area.
Junior running back and Maur Hill-Mount Academy alumnus Harry Trotter and senior defensive tackle and Horton alumnus Trey Dishon are also members of the Wildcat football program.
Each player is expected to contribute to the team this season.
Gill said three northeast Kansas kids being on the same division I team is a dream come true.
“It’s always been a dream to play with some familiar faces,” Gill said. “In high school we knew each other but I don’t think we could’ve ever pictured this.”
Gill was able to find some playing time with the Wildcats last season by getting on the field in 10 games and notching at least one catch in four games.
Gill said that experience will help him tremendously this season when he is expected by many to be a key receiver for the program.
“Being able to get my feet wet was huge for me,” Gill said. “I’m excited because I know what I can expect out there with being thrown into some Big 12 football already.”
Gill didn’t hide that he is reaching for the stars this season on the field.
“I don’t try to speak too much on my own personal goals because it’s probably something people couldn’t imagine,” Gill said. “I’m trying to make it a big season and put my name with some of the greats in the Big 12.”
Gill also said the program as a whole has the mentality of “the sky is the limit” in 2019 season.
“The mentality for the whole team is win,” Gill said. “We got a lot of leaders on our team that are talking about winning the Big 12 title and they aren’t joking about it.”
Gill praised new coach Chris Klieman for instilling that winning environment.
“I think coach Klieman is a very win first guy and that’s why I love him,” Gill said. “He keeps that one-day-at-a-time mentality for us and those stack up over time.”
Kansas State will open up the season 6 p.m. Aug. 31 at home against Nicholls State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.