A Look at K-State Football's 2014 MVPs
During yesterday's K-State Football Awards Ceremony, the Wildcats took a look back at the past season and recognized players who went above and beyond in leading the team to its nine victories.
From the hardest workers on and off the field to the most spirited Wildcats, 18 awards were given to K-State's most deserving players (listed below).
While it took a team, there were a few who had a key impact on the field last season. Here is a quick look at 2014's Most Valuable Players:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - SPECIAL TEAMS
Senior punt/kickoff returner Tyler Lockett
A look at Lockett's final season: At yesterday afternoon's award ceremony, Sean Snyder and Andre Coleman had to roll a cart on to the stage in order to deliver all of Tyler Lockett's awards from the 2014 season. After leading the nation in punt-return average, Lockett earned Consensus All-America honors as an all-purpose player as well as earning 2014 Big 12 Special Teams player of the Year from the league's coaches. In the Wildcats' 58-28 win over UTEP on Sept. 27, Lockett tallied 143 punt-return yards - the most return yards in the Big 12 during the 2014 season - and his first-ever touchdown on a punt return.
Quote from the Coach: "Being a punt returner and kick returner, it's a tough job. Everyone knew that Tyler was a great kickoff returner, but this year he assumed punt-returner responsibilities. I remember back in camp, Tyler was a little nervous about getting back there. I just told him to have confidence. He never drops the ball. Teams towards the end of the year didn't even want to kick it to him because he's a threat for them to run it back to every time. He's going to be exciting to watch returning kicks on Sundays." Andre Coleman - Wide Receivers
Freshman kicker Matthew McCrane
A look at McCrane's first season: In January, McCrane was named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America team after an exciting 2014 campaign where he connected on 18-of-19 field goal attempts, including all 11 from 30 yards or longer. His 94.7-percent conversion rate ranked tops nationally during the 2014 season and second all-time in the K-State record book. His 95 total points shattered the Wildcat freshman record for points scored in a single season as it was nearly 40 points more than Martin Gramatica's previous record of 56 in 1994. Connecting on both field-goal attempts from 50 yards or longer, McCrane became the first freshman kicker to accomplish the feat.
Quote from the Coach: "One of the things that's pretty important to understand with our kickers, punters and snappers is that there is a lot of expectation to do well, to not fail and to succeed. When Matt was called up and put out there in a situation to perform, he did. As you all have witnessed, he's done a phenomenal job over the course of the year, and he's just getting started. His time and his effort has been tremendous - that's shown as he's proven out there on the field that he can do it and hit the ball well. We're excited for Matt and the future that he holds." Sean Snyder - Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - DEFENSE
Senior linebacker Jonathan Truman
A look at Truman's final season: A former walk-on who turned into one of the Big 12's top linebackers, Truman finished the 2014 season with 128 tackles to rank second in the Big 12 and 21st nationally, while his 79 unassisted tackles last season rank third in K-State history. He carded seven double-digit tackle games, including a career-high 17 tackles at Oklahoma - the most by a Wildcat since 2003 - while his 14 tackles against UCLA in the Valero Alamo Bowl broke the school's bowl record. A Second Team All-Big 12 competitor, Truman's leadership, work ethic and impact on the playing field was second to none.
Quote from the Coach: "A lot of guys that play have good games, average games and bad games, but I can honestly say Jonathan played good every week. He was able to do that because he practiced well, that was important to him. This guy had the ability to take it from the practice field to the game, and he played good every single week. What made him so good at times was he was efficient with his feet and he processed information as well as anybody. He has the ability to make the hard plays. He did that week after week after week. I love this dude. I'm going to miss him." Mike Cox - Linebackers
MOST VALUEABLE PLAYER - OFFENSE
Senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett
A look at Lockett's final season: Adding to his success with the Wildcats' special teams, Lockett was a force on the offense. Lockett finished his career as the most decorated wide receiver in K-State history. He is No. 1 in the Wildcat record book in receptions (249), receiving yards (3,710) and touchdowns (29), while he also held the record for most 100-yard receiving games (17) and became only the second player in school history to haul in 100-plus receptions in a single season. Overall, Lockett broke 17 school records, became K-State's first four-time All-American and excelled in the classroom as he also earned 2014 Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.
Quote from the Coach: "Reality has set in that it's really about to be over, and I'm really about to lose Tyler. Big time players make big time plays in big time games, and Tyler was big time for us this year week in and week out. He's an unbelievable football player, and he's incredibly humble. He's a team leader, a great team captain... He's just a great human being. He's an incredible young man, and he deserves everything that's coming his way. He deserves it because he has worked hard for it; he watched film constantly, he was one of the last guys to leave the practice field and he is constantly working on his craft. I'm going to miss him. I love him, and I just can't wait to see him reeking havoc on defenses on Sundays." Andre Coleman - Wide Receivers
Senior quarterback Jake Waters
A look at Waters' final season: In his two-year career, Waters completed 421 passes for 5,970 yards and 40 touchdowns, while he ran for 796 yards and 15 touchdowns. His 3,501 passing yards in 2014 marked the most in a single season in K-State history, while he also finished first in the record book in both season and career completion percentage at 66.0-percent and 64.1-percent, respectively. His 3,985 total yards of offense in 2014 was also a school record.
Quote from the Coach: "Jake had an outstanding senior year. He passed for more yards than any quarterback in K-State history, combined for rushing and passing, another K-State record. He was the most accurate passer that I've ever coached, and he had the career and season passing percentage record, that's pretty remarkable. He also set the passing efficiency record - it's pretty phenomenal the things that he excelled at. He's a great competitor; he hates to lose, there's no doubt about that. I've coached some pretty tough quarterbacks, Collin Klein and some of those people, but Jake's as tough as nails. He's a special human being. I consider myself very, very blessed to have the opportunity to coach Jake." Del Miller - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Complete list of the K-State Football Awards:
Overachiever (Strength & Conditioning) Award
Presented to the freshman football player who achieved outstanding performance levels in the areas of strength and conditioning, while demonstrating an intense, tireless work ethic.
Winner: Sam Sizelove
Red Raider Award
For recognition of the Scout Squad player who contributed the most to the team during the season for hard work, effort, dedication and weekly preparation for the opponent.
Winners: Dalvin Warmack and Logan O'Dea
For the individual who through his efforts on the field and in the classroom best distinguished himself as both a quality student and quality athlete.
Winner: Stanton Weber
Purple Pride Award
For the walk-on who through his efforts on and off the field best represents Kansas State Football with quality play, leadership and work ethic.
Winner: Weston Hiebert
Ken Ochs Courage Award
For the Athlete who best exemplifies the courage displayed by former Wildcat football player, Ken Ochs, who died of cancer in 1969.
Winners: Joseph Bonugli and Matt Kleinsorge
Kevin Saunders (Never Give Up) Award
For the individual who most displays the greatest courage, perseverance and determination in never giving up in pursuit of team goals.
Winners: Laton Dowling and Dylan Schellenberg
Bob Cope Memorial Award
Senior walk-on completing education who best epitomizes in the character, determination, work ethic, leadership and unselfishness of Coach Bob Cope.
Winner: David Smith
Nancy Bennett Memorial Award
Person in program who best represents the spirit of Nancy Bennett: Always positive, spirited and a fighter.
Winners: Dante Barnett and Taylor Godinet
Anthony A. Bates Memorial Award
Awarded to the individual who best promotes team unity and unselfishness for the benefit of the team.
Winner: Curry Sexton
Joan Friederich Award
For the individual who, through his unselfishness, leadership and commitment to Kansas State Football, best represents the team concept.
Winners: Randall Evans and B.J. Finney
Jim "Shorty" Kleinau Award
Person in the program who best represents loyalty, hard work & commitment and dedication to a common cause.
Winners: Jonathan Truman and Drew Liddle
Most Improved Player | Defense: Jordan Willis and Will Geary
Most Improved Player | Offense: Curry Sexton
For a closer look at yesterday's awards ceremony, please click here.