July 9, 2012
Klein was one of 65 players nationally and 11 from the Big 12 Conference named to the watch list for the award that recognizes America’s most outstanding collegiate football player. The Wildcat signal caller is just the third player in school history up for the award and the first since 2004. Running back Darren Sproles was a preseason candidate that season, while quarterback Michael Bishop was a finalist in 1998.
A native of Loveland, Colo., Klein burst onto the college football scene last year as a junior when he led K-State to a 10-2 regular season record and a berth in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl. Considered by many the toughest player in college football, Klein rushed for a Big 12 and FBS quarterback record 27 touchdowns last season en route to All-America accolades. He amassed 1,141 rushing yards to rank seventh in school history and first among quarterbacks, while he led the Big 12 with 317 rushing attempts, 67 more than the player in second place.
Klein was also efficient in the passing game during the 2011 season as he threw for 1,918 yards and 13 touchdowns on 161-of-281 aim with just six interceptions.
Aside from his All-America honors from Sports Illustrated, Klein was also named a First Team All-Big 12 performer by the Associated Press, ESPN.com, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and San Antonio Express-News, while he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades from the league’s coaches and also received votes for the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Award.
Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown and defensive back Nigel Malone were named to the watch list for the 2012 Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top defensive player, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Brown was a semifinalist for the award last season, while Malone is in contention for the award for the first time in his career. It is the third and fourth time a Wildcat has been up for the Bednarik Award as defensive back Chris Canty was a finalist in 1996.
A product of Wichita, Kan., Brown led the Wildcats with 101 tackles in 2011 to become the first K-State defender to reach the 100-tackle plateau in five seasons. A former transfer from the University of Miami, Brown registered 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception against No. 15 Baylor, which was the only second-half interception off Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III last year and led to the eventual game-winning field goal.
Brown earned honorable mention All-America honors as a junior from Sports Illustrated, while he was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year by the league’s coaches, Associated Press, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and ESPN.com. Brown was also on the watch lists for the 2011 Bronco Nagurski and Butkus Awards.
A former community-college transfer, Malone was stellar during his first season in Manhattan as he led the Big 12 and tied for third nationally with seven interceptions, a mark that ranked second in school history and fifth in conference history. The Manteca, Calif., product was one of only four players nationally to record two or more picks in multiple games as he came away with a pair of interceptions against both Eastern Kentucky and Oklahoma. He finished his junior campaign fifth on the team with 58 tackles.
Malone was a semifinalist for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award and was a Second Team Walter Camp All-American to go along with First Team All-Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches, ESPN.com and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.