The recognition keeps pouring in for Joshua Youngblood.
A true freshman receiver for Kansas State, Youngblood picked up the Big 12’s special teams player of the week award Monday.
The honor came two days after he scored on a 100-yard kickoff return in K-State’s 30-27 win at Texas Tech.
Youngblood becomes the only true freshman in the conference this year to earn one of the league’s offensive, defensive or special teams player of the week award.
He is the first Wildcat freshman to do so since Tyler Lockett pulled off the feat twice (both on special teams) in 2011.
It marks the third weekly award for the Wildcats this season, joining safety Denzel Goolsby (defensive) and wide receiver/returner Malik Knowles (special teams), whose recognition came for their efforts in a victory at Mississippi State in September.
Youngblood’s score came in the third quarter Saturday, extending K-State’s lead to 10. It was Youngblood’s second kickoff return for a touchdown this year, joining his 98-yarder at Texas earlier this month. He’s now tied for third most in a season in program history and fourth most in a career.
Youngblood, who leads the Big 12 with in yards per kick return (35.9), is one of only eight players to return two kickoffs for touchdowns this fall — and the only true freshman. The last true freshman in the country to score on at least two kickoffs was Southern Cal’s Adoree’ Jackson in 2014, when he also scored on 98- and 100-yard runs.
Despite his stellar score Saturday, much of the attention following the game centered on what happened immediately following the touchdown: Youngblood received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his celebration, costing the Wildcats 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.
He vowed he won’t make the same mistake again.
“It was selfish. Won’t happen again,” Youngblood said. “All the fans that are listening, it was selfish. My high school coach is probably going to call me and get on me. He didn’t teach me that. So it was just selfish. It won’t happen again.”
Youngblood took no issue with the flag being thrown, saying he “definitely deserved” the penalty.
“It was selfish,” he said. “I should have celebrated with my teammates. But it won’t happen again.”