Just when it looked like Kansas State linebacker Eric Gallon was finding a meaningful place within the Wildcats’ defense, his college football career came to an abrupt and painful end.
K-State football coach Chris Klieman confirmed Monday that Gallon will be “lost for the season” following the gruesome knee injury he sustained during a 48-41 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday.
Gallon was carted off the field with an air cast wrapped around his injured knee after he took an awkward hit on a kickoff in the third quarter of that game.
“We’re sick about it,” Klieman said Monday during the Big 12 teleconference. “Eric had a significant knee injury. I think we’re still learning a little bit more about the details, but it’s going to require season-ending surgery, and it makes you sad for any player, especially the fifth-year guys that put their heart and soul into a program.”
The injury takes on extra frustration for Gallon, because he was playing his best game in a K-State uniform before it happened. The Wildcats haven’t used Gallon much during his career, but they turned to the senior against the Sooners and he delivered with one tackle, one pass breakup and one forced fumble.
His pass breakup came on a key third down in which he slapped a pass away before it could get to intended receiver Charleston Rambo, who was open for the first down on a slant route.
Gallon later helped force a fumble on a kickoff that gave K-State an extra possession. But that was the final play of his college career.
“He’s playing some significant snaps for us,” Klieman said. “That was his most involvement in a game plan, especially on defense.”
Gallon ends his K-State career with seven tackles. He started out at Virginia and joined the Wildcats as a transfer in 2017.
His father, also named Eric, was a running back for the Wildcats from 1989 to 1992. He ranks 12th in school history with 1,960 rushing yards.