Kansas State senior defensive end Ryan Mueller was one of a record 182 nominees for the 2014 Allstate/American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, the organizations announced.
Mueller, one of 90 players from the FBS and nine from the Big 12 up for the award, is the sixth Wildcat in the last seven years to be named a candidate for one of the most prestigious off-the-field awards.
Last season, wide receiver Tyler Lockett was nominated, while quarterback Collin Klein earned a nod on the 2012 Good Works Team.
A product of Leawood, Mueller has not only made an impact on the football field but also in the Manhattan and Kansas City communities. A team captain, Mueller has visited retirement centers, participated in Cats in the Classroom as he reads to students or helps teachers with classroom activities, Adopt-a-Family during the holiday season and assisted with elementary school carnivals.
The biggest impact he has made has been befriending Kaiden Schroeder, an 8-year-old Wildcat fan who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in May 2009. Ryan regularly visits Kaiden both in person and on the phone, while Kaiden was Ryan’s guest for a game in Manhattan last season before suiting up and scoring a touchdown during this past year’s spring game.
On the field, Mueller tied the school record in sacks with 11.5 last season en route to Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and All-America accolades. His sack total ranked second in the Big 12 and eighth nationally in 2013 and included a school-record tying three sacks at Texas Tech as he picked up Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week accolades. He also earned the weekly honor following the Iowa State game by totaling seven tackles with 2.5 sacks.