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Notes: Texas A&M freshman player found safe

Collin Klein would like to lead Kansas State to heights the heralded 1998 Wildcats team couldn’t reach, and that includes the national championship and the Heisman Trophy.

lm otero/associated press

Collin Klein would like to lead Kansas State to heights the heralded 1998 Wildcats team couldn’t reach, and that includes the national championship and the Heisman Trophy.

Texas A&M freshman wide receiver Thomas Johnson was found safe in Dallas after he disappeared from campus three days ago.

Johnson’s mother, Linda Hanks, said Texas A&M University police told her Thursday the 18-year-old is unharmed.

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University police said they traveled to Dallas to look for Johnson on Wednesday. Johnson was found safe about 2:30 a.m. Thursday with the help of the Dallas police and the Texas Rangers.

Police said Wednesday that Johnson was last seen leaving his College Station residence around 5 p.m. Monday. He turned up 180 miles away in Dallas.

Hanks said Johnson didn’t contact her and that she has no other information. Campus police said that they are not releasing further details.

Johnson has played in 10 games this season, with 30 catches for 339 yards and a touchdown.

Spirit of ’98

Kansas State, No. 1 in the BCS standings, is off to its first 10-0 start since the ballyhooed 1998 team led by former Patriots quarterback Michael Bishop, the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. The second-ranked Wildcats have another Heisman candidate in quarterback Collin Klein, and a coach in Bill Snyder who sees a lot of similarities in his current team and the one from 14 years ago that fell short of the national championship game.

‘‘Michael was a quality leader for that team in a far different way than Collin is,’’ Snyder said. ‘‘Still, his teammates responded to him quite well in a positive way. People responded to him because he made plays.’’

Klein can make plays, too.

The former wide receiver has put up pass efficiency numbers similar to Bishop, and he’s proven to be more elusive on the ground. The result has been record-setting touchdown totals and front-runner status for the Heisman.

‘‘Collin’s leadership goes beyond that,’’ Snyder said. ‘‘They respond to him, not only by what he does, but also what he addresses them about in the areas other than just football, and Michael’s thing was just on the football field.’’

The Wildcats (7-0 in Big 12) play at Baylor on Saturday before a week off, and then a high-profile season finale against Texas.

‘‘We’re trying to set ourselves apart,” said wide receiver Chris Harper. “We want to come out of the shadow of that ’98 team.’’

Tar Heels win

Bryn Renner threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after a goal-line stand preserved North Carolina’s lead and the Tar Heels (7-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) ended Virginia’s postseason hopes with a 37-13 victory at Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers (4-7, 2-5) had won two in a row and were hoping to win two more to qualify for a bowl game. They shut down Bernard, the ACC’s runaway rushing leader, but were picked apart by Renner, who was 29 for 36 passing for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman Quinshad Davis caught 16 passes — tying the ACC record — for 178 yards . . . Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel will miss Saturday’s game against Jacksonville State with an ankle injury. Jacoby Brissett will start. Gators coach Will Muschamp said he expects Driskel to return for the regular-season finale against Florida State . . . The Atlantic Coast Conference agreed to a 12-year deal with ESPN for the rights to televise the Orange Bowl, with the conference champion facing either Notre Dame or a team from the Big Ten or SEC. The deal begins in January 2015 and runs through 2026 . . . Missouri freshman wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham resolved an early-season marijuana arrest with a guilty plea to a reduced charge of trespassing.

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