Asked to divulge a personal secret during an offseason team-building exercise last year, Kansas State offensive tackle Scott Frantz told 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."
Frantz divulged his sexual orientation to his teammates after his redshirt season in 2015. Wildcats coach Bill Snyder had brought in a motivational speaker who encouraged the players to reveal details about themselves that they had never told anyone else before.
"So the very first time I said those words were in front of, you know, 110, 120 football guys," Frantz said. "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."
The sophomore tackle said he knew he was gay in fifth grade but that it took until his junior year of high school to accept it. He said he didn't tell his family until a week after the locker room announcement and told Rowe he didn't discuss his sexual orientation with recruiters out of concern it would keep him from getting offers to play in college.
Snyder told Rowe that, if Frantz had told him he was gay during the recruiting process, it wouldn't have affected his evaluation. Snyder also said he was confident that the Kansas State players would accept Frantz.
"I was quite comfortable that they would be very receptive and that they would treat him as they always said," Snyder told Rowe, "as, you know, his teammate and someone that they cared about. And they did."
Frantz and incoming Arizona freshman defensive end My-King Johnson will be the first two openly gay active FBS players when the 2017 season kicks off. Frantz, who started 13 games for Kansas State last season, told Rowe it was important to go public with the fact he is gay to help others feel accepted.