Scott Frantz saw an opportunity and took a leap. During a team-building exercise last year, the Kansas State offensive tackle told his teammates he is gay.
Frantz, a 6-foot-5, 293-pounder from nearby Lawrence, started all 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, earning Big 12 First-Team All-Freshman honors from Athlon Sports. The strong season came after he divulged a huge secret to the Wildcats last summer.
"I came out to my teammates, and I've never felt so loved and so accepted ever in my life than when I did that," Frantz told ESPN's Holly Rowe. "And ever since then it's been great. I've grown so much closer to my teammates since. So it's been an amazing experience.
"So the very first time I said those words were in front of, you know, 110, 120 football guys," Frantz added. "So you can imagine how scared I was, how nervous I was. … This could go either really bad or could go really good. And thankfully my teammates embraced me with open arms, and it was great."
He said he was convinced to reveal his sexual orientation when head coach Bill Snyder brought in a motivational speaker who told players to be proud of themselves and willing to share personal details with those around them.
Kansas State kicks off the 2017 season on Saturday, Sept. 2, against Central Arkansas at home.