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K-State gives out football awards

By The Mercury

Quarterback Collin Klein, linebacker Arthur Brown and defensive back Ty Zimmerman were named Kansas State’s 2012 offensive and defensive MVPs, while four players — Anthony Cantele, Ryan Doerr, Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson — took special teams MVP honors as the Wildcat football program held its annual awards ceremony Friday night at a packed McCain Auditorium on the K-State campus.

“We truly have people at Kansas State who genuinely care, and I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone involved with this football program, including our coaches, support staff, players and especially their families,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “We have a special family here, and this senior class has been a truly special group.”

The second Heisman Trophy finalist in school history, Klein accounted for 37 touchdowns this season (22 rushing, 15 passing), including at least three in eight games, en route to Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and All-America honors. His 22 rushing touchdowns are tied for second nationally and rank first among quarterbacks. The Loveland, Colo., product has rushed for 890 yards on 194 carries and thrown for 2,490 yards on 180-of-272 passing.

Leading the team in tackles for a second-straight year, Brown has 91 stops this season, including six tackles for loss and one sack. He also has two interceptions, one against West Virginia and the other he returned for a touchdown a week later against Texas Tech. Aside from his All-America honors, Brown was also a finalist for the Lott Impact Trophy, a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches

Zimmerman was named an All-American for the first time in his career in 2012. A starting safety since his freshman season, Zimmerman made 45 tackles, including three for losses, while he picked off a career-best five passes in just 10 games. His five interceptions lead the Big 12 and are tied for sixth nationally. The Junction City product recorded an interception in four-straight games (Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa State, West Virginia) — the longest streak by a Wildcat since at least 1989. He improved his career interception total to 10, which ranks seventh in school history.

The quartet of Cantele, Doerr, Lockett and Thompson all garnered All-Big 12 honors and helped the Wildcats to the No. 1 spot in the UPS efficiency special teams rankings nationally. K-State led the nation in kick returns and punt returns behind Lockett and Thompson, while Cantele led the Big 12 in field goal percentage in league games and Doerr pinned opponents inside the 20 yard line 14 times this season.

On the academic side, Academic All-Big 12 selection Jared Loomis received the program’s Scholar-Athlete award. Loomis will graduate from K-State with a degree in civil engineering and carries a 3.85 GPA.

The Big 12 Champion and No. 5 Wildcats (11-1) will face No. 4 Oregon (11-1) in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (CT) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

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