Three Kansas State players — offensive linemen B.J. Finney and Cody Whitehair, and defensive end Ryan Mueller — were named to watch lists for awards announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on Thursday.
Finney and Whitehair were named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman, while Mueller is a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation’s best defensive player.
This marks the second straight season Finney is a candidate for the Outland Trophy, while he was also named to the watch list for the 2014 Rimington Award on Tuesday.
K-State is one of four teams to place multiple players on the Outland Trophy watch list. Mueller is a first-time candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and picked up his third preseason honor, as he is also a candidate for the Bednarik Award and the Lott Trophy.
The Leawood native also registered K-State’s sixth candidacy for the Nagurski Trophy in the last four years.
The watch list for the 2014 Outland Trophy includes 64 players across the country, including nine from the Big 12, while the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list is comprised of 81 total players and 13 from the Big 12.
Finney and Whitehair started all 13 games in 2013 at center and left guard, respectively. Both Kansas natives, Finney and Whitehair earned All-Big 12 honors a year ago as Finney, a product of Andale, was a first-team selection, and Whitehair, from Abilene, picked was named to the second team.
The 2013 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, Mueller tied the school record in sacks with 11.5, a figure that ranked second in the Big 12 and eighth nationally.
Mueller’s total included a school-record tying three sacks at Texas Tech as he picked up Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week accolades, while he also earned the honor following the Iowa State game by totaling seven tackles with 2.5 sacks.