MANHATTAN (TNS) — Scott Frantz, the starting left tackle for Kansas State’s football team, told ESPN he is a gay man Thursday morning.

Frantz went public with the personal information on “SportsCenter” after privately informing his teammates at a players-only meeting last season. Frantz said he came out to his teammates while in tears, but they were completely supportive.

“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 reporter Holly Rowe during a televised interview at K-State. “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 said he later informed K-State football coach Bill Snyder, and he responded by telling Frantz it was no big deal and he was a good football player.

Snyder was also supportive of Frantz sharing his story on national television.

“What impressed me about this story is that Scott really thought that he could assist others who were experiencing perhaps the same thing or something very similar to this,” Snyder said in a statement to the Eagle. “And that hit home with me. And you know I wanted him to have the opportunity to be able to assist others who may be in a somewhat similar situation not necessarily in athletics but just in general.”

“I was quite comfortable that (our team) would be very receptive and that they would treat him as they always have — as his teammate and someone that they cared about. And they did.”

Still, coming out wasn’t an easy decision. He felt conflicted right up until he told his teammates.

“I felt sick, because I had something on my chest that I wanted to get out there that I never told anybody,” Frantz said. “That was that I am a gay man. I remember I stood up and I felt like passing out. I just sat on the ground and I was crying.”

His teammates helped him find the courage to speak.

“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.”

Frantz told Rowe he knew he was gay in the fifth grade but didn’t accept it until his junior year of high school.

He said he came out publicly in order to “reach out to all the other kids who are just like me.”

Frantz is one of two openly gay players in college football, along with Arizona defensive end My-King Johnson. Former Missouri football player Michael Sam came out in 2014.

Frantz is set to begin his sophomore season at K-State. He is coming off an impressive freshman campaign in which he started all 13 games and had a stellar performance in the Texas Bowl. In that game, Frantz kept Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, in check during a K-State victory.

Frantz is from Lawrence and played high school football at Free State.