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Lockett, Zimmerman named MVPs

By The Mercury

Wide receiver Tyler Lockett and defensive back Ty Zimmerman were named Kansas State’s 2013 offensive and defensive MVPs, while Weston Hiebert and Tramaine Thompson took special teams MVP honors during the Wildcats’ annual awards ceremony Friday night at McCain Auditorium.

A product of Tulsa, Okla., Lockett led the Big 12 during the regular season with 151.4 all-purpose yards per game, 22.3 yards per game better than the player in second place. Lockett’s average ranks 14th nationally and is a product of a 104.2 receiving yards-per-game average, which ranks second in the conference and 11th in the country.

A three-time All-Big 12 pick, Lockett sits in the school’s Top 10 in six single-season receiving categories and four career receiving categories, while he produced the top two single-game receiving outputs in school history this season (278 vs. OU, 237 vs. Texas) and tied the school record with three receiving touchdowns on two occasions (West Virginia and OU). He also owns the school record for career kickoff-return yardage (1,760), and he is second in school history in career kickoff-return average (30.9) and touchdowns (four).

A two-time team captain, Zimmerman logged 69 tackles in 10 games in 2013 to go along with three tackles for loss and three interceptions. He returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns to lead the Big 12 and tie for second nationally. Zimmerman has 13 career interceptions to tie for third in school history, while his 221 career interception-return yards rank second.

Earlier this week, Zimmerman was named an All-Big 12 First Team performer by both the league’s coaches and the Associated Press. His designations made him the first player in school history to garner four straight all-conference accolades, while he is one of just four Big 12 defensive backs to earn four All-Big 12 honors with at least one of those being a first-team designation.

A starting safety since his freshman season in 2010, 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 1989. He improved his career interception total to 10, which ranks seventh in school history.

Hiebert and Thompson were honored on special teams for their play in 2013. Hiebert collected 10 tackles and blocked one kick on special teams, while Thompson helped the Wildcats to a No. 3 national ranking in punt returns with his 20.2 average.

Defensive end Ryan Mueller garnered Defensive Front Seven Player of the Year after a record season. He leads the Big 12 with 18.5 tackles for loss and is second in the league with a school-record tying 11.5 sacks. A former walk-on who has at least a half tackle for loss in every game this year, Mueller enters the postseason a half sack away from entering the Big 12’s single-season Top 10 and 1.5 away from appearing on the K-State’s career Top-10 list.

Academic All-Big 12 selection Stanton Weber received the program’s Scholar-Athlete award.

K-State will face Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Dece. 28. Kickoff is set for 9:15 p.m. (CST) at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

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