MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Collin Klein can shed tacklers, but a nickname is clinging to the Heisman Trophy candidate: Baby Tebow.
The moniker seems apropos for Kansas State's Klein when considering the similarities in style of play and physique to Tim Tebow.
Klein, the starting quarterback for fourth-ranked K-State (6-0, 3-0 Big 12), is 6-foot-5 and 228 pounds. Tebow, who won the Heisman at the University of Florida in 2007 and plays in the NFL for the New York Jets, is listed as two inches shorter and eight pounds heavier.
Neither signal caller is bashful about contact, but Tebow rarely logged the amount of carries Klein has the past two seasons.
"He actually reminds me a lot of Tebow," West Virginia linebacker Isaiah Bruce said of Klein. "We've been making that reference a lot around here. He's just like Tebow.
"He's always going to fall forward."
Bruce and the No. 17 Mountaineers (5-1, 2-1) will have to contend with Klein this Saturday (7 p.m., WVAH) at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Klein was third in the FBS in rushing attempts last season with 317 - 100 more carries than Tebow's single-season high in three seasons at Florida. Klein rushed for 1,141 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, ground numbers never produced by Tebow.
Klein logged 20 or more carries in 11 of 13 games in 2011 and has done it twice more this season, but Tebow only had seven games in his career with 20 or more rushing attempts.
Klein has seven career 100-yard rushing games, including 116- and 105-yard performances the past two weeks against Kansas and Iowa State, respectively. He has scored a rushing touchdown in five consecutive games and has 10 scores on the ground this year (five in the past two games).
He needs two more rushing touchdowns to tie Darren Sproles for the school record.
"He's tough, he's physical, he's smart," West Virginia defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said of Klein. "People don't think he can throw it. He can throw it. Look at his completion percentage."