MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OSU

December 5, 2012

Big 12 announces team honors: Heisman finalist, TCU defender get top honors

— Collin Klein set a slew of records while helping the seventh-ranked Kansas State Wildcats to an 11-win season, the third conference title in school history and a berth opposite Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl.

On Wednesday, the Heisman Trophy finalist became the first player from Kansas State to be voted the Associated Press’ Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year. He received 14 of the 18 votes from members of the media who regularly cover the Big 12, while West Virginia’s Tavon Austin got three votes and Terrance Williams of Baylor received the other one.

Klein’s coach, Bill Snyder, was voted Big 12 coach of the year for the third time on Tuesday.

“He deserves all the compliments he can have,” Snyder said. “He’s awfully good at what he does, and he’s awfully good as a leader and he’s awfully good as a field manager, and he’s awfully good in all the physical aspects of the game — and he’s a tremendous person.”

Defensive end Devonte Fields of Big 12 newcomer TCU was voted AP’s defensive player of the year. He received seven votes to beat out Kansas State’s Arthur Brown (four), Horned Frogs teammate Jason Verrett (three), Iowa State’s A.J. Klein (two), and Aaron Colvin and Tony Jefferson of Oklahoma (one each).

Fields was also the runaway winner of defensive newcomer of the year, while Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk was voted the conference’s top newcomer on offense.

Kansas State led the league with six first-team All-Big 12 selections: Klein, Brown, offensive lineman B.J. Finney, tight end Travis Tannahill, defensive lineman Meshak Williams and defensive back Ty Zimmerman. The Wildcats also had five second-team selections and eight honorable mentions.

Oklahoma State had the second-most first-team selections with five: running back Joseph Randle, wide receiver Josh Stewart, offensive lineman Lane Taylor and Quinn Sharp, who made it as both a punter and kicker.

Fields was joined on the first team by Verrett and TCU teammate Kenny Cain.

Oklahoma’s Jefferson and Colvin were joined by Gabe Ikard on the first team. Baylor’s Williams and Cyril Richardson, Texas Tech’s LaAdrian Waddle and Kerry Hyder, West Virginia’s Austin and Stedman Bailey, Iowa State linebackers Klein and Jake Knott and Texas’ Alex Okafor also made the first team.

Klein, who threw for 2,490 yards and 15 touchdowns and ran for 890 yards and 22 more TDs,  has already won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and is up for several other national awards this week. He’s one of three finalists for the Heisman, along with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, which will be handed out Saturday night in New York.

Klein is also the first player in the BCS era to have consecutive seasons with at least 10 touchdown passes and 20 touchdown runs, and the other three to even accomplish the feat once all won the Heisman: Auburn’s Cam Newton in 2010, Florida’s Tim Tebow in 2007 and Eric Crouch of Nebraska in 2000.

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