Kameron Sallis fell in love with Kansas State's culture the more he talked to former Tyler Junior College defensive back, Kobe Savage, and two other incoming transfers in the Wildcats' class of 2022.
"They were telling me that out of all the schools they were about to go to, K-State popped out because the coaching staff was like family," Sallis said. "It was a player-led team. The coach is one thing, but when a player tells you that, you know it’s real."
Sallis never planned on committing this early. In fact, he had a visit to Tulane scheduled for last weekend. But after his trip to Manhattan, Kansas, over the June 18 weekend, he knew he found his home. So the Kennedale High School rising senior safety announced on Tuesday he was committing to the Wildcats over other offers from Arizona State, Tulane and New Mexico State, among others.
Aside from the player-led aspect, Sallis says he instantly clicked with the coaching staff and was intrigued with their gameplan for the future. Sallis was a first-team all district cornerback for Kennedale in 2021, recording 47 tackles and securing more interceptions (4), than allowed completions (3). He's transitioning to safety for his senior year, however, and Kansas State made it clear he would play safety for them too.
The position outlook was only part of the Wildcats' pitch. Sallis says he had plenty of deep conversations with the staff about how they would develop him as a well-rounded individual. No wonder his mother loved the visit so much.
"Of course they want the best for me on the field," Sallis said. "But one of their main focuses outside of the athletic part was to prepare me for the real world and be a great father, husband and be a good man."
Sallis was the first domino to fall for Kansas State on Tuesday, as Hillcrest High School safety and outside linebacker Collin Dunn committed just over six hours after him. Sallis says Dunn and him had been in contact for roughly a week and he knew the three-star was set to commit on the same day as him. While they haven't met personally yet, Sallis likes what he sees on the film.
"I've watched his tape," Sallis said. "He's a dog."
Before he treks north to Manhattan for college, however, Sallis is settling in at a new position as he tries to help Kennedale win its third-consecutive District Championship. The 6-foot-1-inch athlete, who is just under 200 pounds, is looking to have an impact on the entire field instead of locking down one side of it. He also wants to stick his nose into the opposing team's run game more often.
"For me personally, I want over 100 tackles (and) at least 4 picks," Sallis said. "I gotta get my picks. I just want my guys to eat for real."
The Kennedale defense ate plenty last season, recording six shutouts and holding their opponents to 6.41 points per game on their way to a 10–2 record. They gave up over 20 points only twice, and they never allowed a team to score 30. They've got plenty of returning talent from that imposing defense.
Rising senior defensive end Poasa Utu was the District 6-4A DI Defensive MVP last season. The Oklahoma State commit posted a whopping 97 tackles, 41 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. Kennedale also boasts two other first team all-district performers in the secondary, not including Sallis, in seniors Jaylen Webb and Tyler Choice. The group began playing complementary football last season and are looking to build upon the chemsitry they developed this year. Maybe now they will hold opposing offenses to a scoring average you can count on one hand.
"We just trusted each other," Sallis said. "The coaching staff enforced making sure you do your role and trusting your teammate to do their role. When we play like that we just click together, they’re my brothers."
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