Kansas State wide receivers and special teams stars Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson were named to the preseason watch list for the Paul Hornung Award on Friday.
The award, given to the most versatile player in major college football, is in its fourth year of existence and includes 44 players on the preseason watch list.
Lockett and Thompson are the second and third Wildcats up for the honor, as Daniel Thomas was a candidate for the award in its inaugural season of 2010. In addition, K-State is one of three schools with multiple players on this year’s watch list.
A junior in 2013, Lockett is one of the most dangerous kick returners in the country, aside from being a threat as a wide receiver. An All-Big 12 second-team performer as an all-purpose player, Lockett ranked third nationally in kickoff-return average at 32.76 last season. His career 33.8 yards per return is best among active players. Lockett’s career average and four kickoff-return touchdowns rank second in both school and Big 12 history entering the 2013 campaign.
Lockett, who was a member of the initial Walter Camp Player of the Year Award watch list last season, started 11 games at wide receiver and ranked second on the team with 44 receptions for 687 yards and a team-high-tying four touchdowns.
Thompson has been one of the Wildcats’ top receiving threats in each of his first three years, but has burst on to the scene as one of the nation’s top punt returners. A career 1,122-yard receiver to rank 24th in school history, Thompson led the nation with a 19.75-yard punt return average in 2012 thanks to six that went for 20 or more yards.
An honorable mention All-Big 12 performer, Thompson returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown in the 2012 season opener against Missouri State. His career return average of 13.7 ranks fifth in K-State history.
A four-game starter at wide receiver, Thompson hauled in 37 passes for 526 yards and tied Lockett for team-high honors with four touchdowns.
K-State opens the 2013 season and the West Stadium Center on Aug. 30 against North Dakota State at 7:30 p.m.