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Kansas State player overwhelmed by team’s embrace after coming out

October 15, 2016: Oklahoma Sooners defensive end Amani Bledsoe (72) and Kansas State Wildcats offensive lineman Scott Frantz (74) face off during the NCAA Big 12 conference game between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Kansas State 38-17 (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire)
William Purnell/Icon Sportswire

Kansas State offensive tackle Scott Frantz made a life-changing decision during an offseason team-building exercise that took place during his redshirt season last year. With members of the Kansas State football team asked to “divulge a personal secret,” the young blocker chose to tell his Wildcats teammates that he is gay.

“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 on Wednesday. “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.”

Now a redshirt sophomore for the Wildcats, the up-and-coming offensive tackle stated that he knew that he was gay back in the fifth grade but it took him all the way until his junior year of high school to accept it.

“So the very first time I said those words were in front of, you know, 110, 120 football guys,” Frantz continued. “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.”

Frantz certainly has both the size and ability to take his talents to the next level. However, it remains to be seen as to whether or not his sexual orientation will affect his NFL Draft stock going forward. On the other hand, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder told Rowe that had Frantz opened up to him during his recruiting process, it would not have changed anything.

“I was quite comfortable that they would be very receptive and that they would treat him as they always said, as, you know, his teammate and someone that they cared about,” Snyder told Rowe. “And they did.”

Frantz joins Arizona freshman defensive end My-King Johnson as the first openly gay active scholarship players in major college football.

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