Kansas State defensive back Ty Zimmerman and offensive linemen B.J. Finney and Cornelius Lucas were named to award watch lists by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the organization announced Thursday.
Zimmerman earned a spot on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list, while Finney and Lucas were mentioned for the Outland Trophy.
Zimmerman, one of 81 players nationally to be a candidate for the Nagurski Trophy, is the 12th Wildcat since 1995 to be up for the award that is presented to the national defensive player of the year by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
The Junction City product, who is one of 12 selected from the Big 12, is the fifth K-State defender up for the award over the last three seasons, as linebacker Arthur Brown was a candidate in 2011 and 2012, and was joined by defensive backs Allen Chapman and Nigel Malone last year.
Finney and Lucas were two of 75 players overall and 10 from the Big 12 selected to the watch list for the Outland Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman. The duo becomes the first Wildcats to be in the running for the award since Jeromey Clary in 2005 and just the fifth and sixth overall.
A three-year starter at safety, Zimmerman carded 50 tackles and tied for team-high honors with five interceptions in 2012, despite missing two games. Also named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, Zimmerman tied for 10th nationally in interceptions — four of which came in consecutive games. He picked up All-America accolades from multiple publications last season in addition to being named an All-Big 12 First Team performer.
Entering his third year as the starting center, Finney was one of only 11 centers to be named a candidate for the Outland Trophy. The Andale product, who is also a preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy, has started every game the last two seasons, including the last 25 at center. Finney was a semifinalist for the 2012 Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the nation’s top walk-on, and is a two-time team captain.
Lucas, a native of New Orleans, La., had a breakout season in 2012 when he started all 13 games at left tackle en route to All-Big 12 First-Team honors from the league’s coaches and second-team accolades from the Associated Press.
The Wildcats begin the 2013 season and open new West Stadium Center with the fifth-annual K-State Family Reunion on Friday, Aug. 30 when K-State welcomes two-time FCS National Champion North Dakota State. The soldout contest, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.
Season tickets for the 2013 campaign have been sold out, while single-game tickets for the season opener and the Iowa State game are also sold out.