By Zach Zaborny
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Carson Coffman already had plenty of which to be proud.
He quarterbacked his high school team to two state championships. His father Paul played at Kansas State and had a successful NFL career. His older brother Chase was a record-setting tight end at Missouri.
Heading into the 2009 season, Coffman was the presumptive starting quarterback. But even before coach Bill Snyder named him the starter before the season opener, Coffman accomplished one of his goals: His teammates elected him team captain.
"Coming into spring, we wrote down some of our goals, and one of my goals was just to work hard and earn the respect of my teammates," said the junior from Peculiar, Mo. "I think I did that. And (my teammates) electing me captain, shows that I did that. I'm really excited to take on this leadership role and lead the team this year."
Coffman being elected as a team captain made for one proud papa.
"I'm proud of his character more than his football accomplishments, because he is a leader," Paul Coffman said. "He has been elected captain of K-State, which, for somebody that's never been a starter ... I mean, that's quite an accomplishment, to have your teammates support you when you haven't even started a game."
"He's a winner, he's a leader, and he does whatever it takes to help his team be the best that they can be. I think K-State is going to return to a bowl game again, and you are just going to see a guy that's going to quietly lead them to a winning season."
Coffman is a first-year starter but he has been preparing for this season his entire life.
For someone who has never started a college game before, Coffman has been well prepared for this moment for his entire life. He comes from a family where football isn't just a sport; it's the family profession.
His father Paul played for the Wildcats from 1975-77 and then had an 11-year NFL career with Green Bay, Kansas City, and Minnesota. Paul Coffman was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and while with the Packers played along former Kansas State quarterback Lynn Dickey. In 1994, Paul Coffman was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Playing at his father's alma mater is special to Carson.
"Whenever I got the opportunity to come here, I was really excited to follow in my Dad's footsteps," Carson said. "I think he (my Dad), was pretty excited that I got to come to K-State and just follow in
The Carson family is, if nothing else, athletic. In addition to Chase's exploits with the Tigers, Camille Coffman is a freshman volleyball player at Wyoming. And younger brother Cameron is a junior quarterback at Raymore-Peculiar (Mo.) High School where he is following in his brother's footsteps.
Sibling rivalries can become heated when the spirit of competition is added to the mix.
"I can remember times where Chase and I would just be out on the basketball court for hours," Carson said. "And I'd be so mad that I couldn't beat him. And I mean, we both played (my younger brother) Cameron. I'm sure he felt the same way (about losing).
"I just think that really made us a very competitive family. Just being all athletes, I think that made us very competitive, and we really all have a desire to win."
Carson spent his freshman season at Kansas State as a redshirt. The following two seasons, he was the backup to quarterback Josh Freeman. When Freeman skipped his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, that opened the door for Coffman to become the Wildcats' starter this season.
Coffman, who considers Freeman his best friend, believes that everything worked out for the best for the two quarterbacks.
"I just think that God has an awesome plan for both Josh and me," Coffman said "Obviously Josh is living out his dream right now, playing in the NFL, getting drafted by the Bucs. I'm really excited for him, and I'm sure he's really excited for me that I get to come in and be the starter at K-State. "
With is older brother and his best friend in the NFL, Coffman admits that one of his career goals is to join them.
"Me, Chase, and Josh, that's been our goal and our dream," he said. Now, getting closer and closer to it, it's starting to become a reality, and I mean for them (Chase and Josh), it is already. But I think that's definitely my goal to play in the NFL.
"I'm really always thinking about football. Just any decision in life or anything, is based on football and I mean, it's just a game that I love."