Millard South senior-to-be Gage Stenger was hoping his performance at the Lindenwood camp in St. Charles, Mo., on June 4 would pay off by getting him on the radars of major Division I college football programs.
The hope turned to reality.
On Saturday, Stenger, a 6-foot-2, 197-pound 2022 LB/ATH, was in Manhattan, Kan., going through drills under the lights at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in front of head coach Chris Klieman and his staff.
Stenger’s performance at Lindenwood caught the eye of Kansas State linebackers coach Steve Stanard, who asked for Stenger’s information. An invitation to Manhattan to workout was extended, and Stenger didn’t hesitate to take the Wildcats up on it.
— Gage Stenger (@StengerGage) June 14, 2021
Kansas State coaches put the campers through different drills, and at the end had “best-on-best” where the coaches picked the top campers out of each position to compete against each other. Stenger was chosen four times as a linebacker.
“I talked to head coach (Chris) Klieman, and the offensive line coach, Coach (Conor) Riley, he’s the Nebraska recruiter. I talked to him quite a bit before and after,” Stenger said. “Coach Klieman said he wanted to get a face to the name and just introduced himself to me. They told me they’d get back to me in the next two weeks about offering me or not.”
The Kansas State coaches told Stenger they projected him as a hybrid linebacker/safety, who’s big enough to hold up in the run game in the tackle box, but mobile enough to cover a tight end.
Stenger said it was an exciting experience when he first got to the stadium. He was given a tour of the facilities by Klieman’s son, Devin, who’s a defensive grad assistant.
“We went through all the facilities, then the weight room and where the coaching staff’s offices were and the nutrition area,” Stenger said. “Then we looked at the locker room and took pictures down on the field.”
After the camp, Stenger and his family drove back to Omaha, getting home at about 1 a.m. There wasn’t much time for sleep, as the family hit the road to Brookings, S.D., at 9 a.m. for a visit and camp. Stenger, who was offered by SDSU in March, clocked in with a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at 197 pounds.
So, is Stenger tired after all that?
“Yeah, but I gotta be ready for Friday. I have Nebraska on Friday,” he said.
Stenger has private workouts at Nebraska on Friday and Wyoming on June 21. He’ll also head to DeKalb, Ill., to visit Northern Illinois later in the month.
As a junior, Stenger was third on Millard South’s defense in tackles with 51 and one interception. Offensively, the dynamic athlete racked up 793 total yards, catching 21 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Stenger also saw time at quarterback, where he completed 65 percent of his passes (29 of 44) for 417 yards and two scores while rushing for 161 yards and one touchdown.