Skylar Thompson leaves no doubt that he and his Kansas State teammates want to play football.


But the doubt that lingers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, is when, or even if, that will happen.


"I think at the end of the day, speaking for everybody, it would be nice to have some answers and for things not just to keep getting pushed around," Thompson, the Wildcats' senior quarterback, said Tuesday afternoon during a virtual press conference. "There's just so many things of uncertainty every single day, how things can change in 24 hours.


"It's very hard on a player. I think if we were to just get some answers, we would be able to process what that would look like, if that's what we want or not."


The Big Ten and Pac-12 both provided some answers for their members Tuesday by canceling their fall football season, but leaving open the possibility of playing in the spring. The Big 12 has yet to make a final decision.


Meanwhile, K-State is four practices into its preseason camp, hoping for the best. If that means waiting until the spring to suit up, bring it on, Thompson said.


"It would be something different, something new," he said. "But man, if I get to play, I get to play. That's all I want to do; I just want to play football.


"Whenever that time may be, if it's fall, the spring, next fall, I don't know. But I just want to get the ball in my hands and go compete one last time."


Linebacker Justin Hughes, a sixth-year senior who missed last year with a knee injury and received a hardship season from the NCAA, knows his college career is over if there is no season.


"Me personally, I would say this is my last go-round," he said. "To all the seniors out there, I know it's been a hard road, (not) knowing if we're going to play or not.


"I would just say for the seniors out there, we have one last go-round and don't take our year away from us because there's a tragedy going on right now — pandemic or whatever."


Chris Klieman, preparing for his second season as K-State's head coach, also made a case for playing while still making player and staff safety a priority.


"I know this, between the talks that we've had here with our guys and with Matt Thomason (director of sports medicine) and his crew, we have an extremely safe, safe environment here," he said. "We follow every protocol. It's pretty cool to watch our older guys help our younger guys make sure they have masks on, making sure they're keeping social distance.


"It's been a new normal that is different, but I'm pleased with how the guys have handled it so far."


So for now, the Wildcats are going on about their business. On the field, they wear face shields on their helmets and masks when their headgear is off. They no longer have full-team meetings because their auditorium is not big enough, and they've found different locations for position meetings.


But make no mistake, the practice field is their happy place.


"When you go out and watch practice, it's fun because they're just running around, flying around, making plays (and) communicating," Klieman said. "They're just having a blast out there with their family, with their guys that they spend all this time with.


"But then at the end of the day, they do what a lot of us do — see the news, see the reports of stuff, of some uncertainty of whether or not we're playing. And that weighs on them. I know it does."


Thompson admitted that while he has tried to insulate himself from any outside noise, that's easier said than done.


"I've completely eliminated myself from social media for the last week, like since camp started, I haven't been on social media at all," he said. "And I'm still hearing about all these things, just through my teammates and on TV and all these things.


"It's a lot to process. I've been trying my best not to let it be a distraction, and really focus on what I can control. That's the message that I've been giving to my teammates as well, and my other teammates that are seniors."


Hughes just wants some answers.


"Guys are just ready to know if we're going to play right now, in the spring, or we're going to have to wait until next season," he said. "We've been preparing like we're going to play Sept. 5 or Sept. 12, whatever the date might be.


"We're just going to continue to prepare like that's going to happen, and we're going to continue to be great as a team. And that's the mindset going into each and every practice."


Klieman and his staff would love to make it all about football right now, and that's their approach on the practice field. But that's just part of the job.


"We need to be leaders more than we need to be anything right now," Klieman said. "Leaders amongst our leaders on the team, and help those guys that are going through difficult times, and really be there for the guys that are really unsure.


"We don't have all the answers for them, but we just need to be there for them. We need to listen, we need to support and we need to make sure and let those guys know that, A, it's going to be OK, and we're going to find a way to make this right."