November 28, 2006

Figurs' fire still burns

Yamon Figurs aspires to become a firefighter after his football-playing days are over. He's off to a good start. As Kansas State awaits official word on its bowl opponent and December destination, the senior wide receiver and special teams threat who was sidelined with an unspecified injury in the Wildcats' final regular season game doused any doubt that he might sit out his last game in a purple uniform.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since after he scorched then-No. 4 Texas with six catches for a career-high 123 yards and two touchdowns during the Wildcats' 45-42 win in Manhattan on Nov. 11, Figurs gave himself a clean bill of health.

"I'm pretty excited," Figurs said at the Vanier Football Complex on Nov. 21. "Can't wait to play again."

First-year coach Ron Prince, whose Wildcats, 7-5, finished tied for second with Missouri and behind only Big 12 North champion Nebraska, appreciates the enthusiasm of his deep threat with 4.29 speed, whose 12.2 yards per punt return ranks 16th nationally.

"Yamon says he's playing," Prince said. "I don't think these kids want to miss the postseason, one game, one time on national TV. It's a pretty big deal."

Addressing reporters for the final time until after he learns of the Wildcats' bowl plans, Prince admitted medical staff hadn't yet cleared the 5-foot-11, 173-pound Figurs to participate in practice.

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