Kansas State’s Arthur Brown has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s top linebacker, while Collin Klein was named a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.
Brown is the fifth Wildcat to become a semifinalist for the award and the first since Josh Buhl in 2003.
Mark Simoneau, a 2012 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, was the runner-up for the award in 1999, while Jeff Kelly (1998) and Percell Gaskins (1995) were also semifinalists.
A native of Wichita, Brown is in his second year with the Wildcats after transferring from Miami following his sophomore season.
Brown leads the Wildcats and ranks eighth in the Big 12 with 55 tackles, including six for loss and one sack. The senior also became the first player this season to intercept West Virginia’s Geno Smith last week after the Mountaineer quarterback broke an NCAA record of 273 consecutive attempts without a pick earlier in the contest.
Brown, who had eight tackles against WVU, was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Brown, who also broke eventual Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III’s streak of 110 attempts without an interception last season, has earned Midseason All-America honors from CBSSports.com and Phil Steele, while he was a Midseason All-Big 12 honoree by ESPN.com.
Klein is the fourth K-State quarterback to be named a semifinalist for the O’Brien Award, joining 1998 winner Michael Bishop and finalists Matt Miller (1995) and Chad May (1994).
Klein, who ranks in the top 10 of 11 K-State career categories, has passed for 1,397 yards and 10 touchdowns on 98-of-139 aim this season, while rushing for 14 scores and 551 yards on 110 carries.
The Loveland, Colo., native’s pass efficiency rating of 175.79 leads the Big 12 and ranks second nationally, while Klein is the only BCS quarterback with at least 14 rushing touchdowns and 10 passing touchdowns this year.
In last week’s 55-14 win at No. 13 West Virginia, Klein broke the FBS quarterback record for rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons (41), a mark that was held by Stacey Robinson (Northern Illinois; 1989-90) and Eric Crouch (Nebraska; 2000-01) at 38.
Klein also improved his career total to 47, breaking current NFL running back Darren Sproles’ K-State record of 45 between 2001 and 2004.
A four-time Davey O’Brien Honorable Mention Quarterback of the Week nominee, Klein was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week following his performance against the Mountaineers.
Fan voting for the 2012 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award consists of 5 percent of the final vote. Fans can vote for Klein at http://www.VoteOBrien.org as often as once per day. Finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 19, while the winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Award Show on Dec. 6, on ESPN.