Former Wildcats Sproles, Lockett Named to 2016 Pro Bowl

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Former Kansas State football greats Darren Sproles (2001-04) of the Philadelphia Eagles and Tyler Lockett (2011-14) of the Seattle Seahawks were named return specialists for the 2016 Pro Bowl as determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches, the National Football League announced Tuesday night.

Sproles, who is in his 11th NFL season, is making his second-career Pro Bowl appearance after playing in last year’s game, while Lockett is one of three rookies this year to be named to the Pro Bowl. Their selections come on the heels of current Wildcat kickoff returner Morgan Burns being named the 2015 Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year and First Team All-American after returning a nation-leading four kickoffs for touchdowns and ranking second nationally in average at 33.8 yards.

A native of Olathe, Kansas, Sproles leads the league in punt-return average (12.4), punt-return yards (446) and punt-return touchdowns (2). He is the only player in Eagles history to have multiple seasons with at least two punt-return touchdowns. Sproles ranks 11th in NFL history and second among active players with 17,794 career all-purpose yards.

Sproles ranks first in Kansas State history with 6,812 career all-purpose yards and holds the single-season school record with 2,735 yards in 2003. He also holds the school records for season (1,986) and career (4,979) rushing yardage, while he is second in career rushing touchdowns (45).

Lockett has shined during his inaugural NFL season as the third-round pick returned a punt for a touchdown on his first-career attempt at St. Louis. Two weeks later, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, product set a franchise record with a 105-yard kickoff return touchdown against Chicago.

Lockett, who ranks seventh in the NFL with a 25.7-yard kickoff-return average, is also a big part of Seattle’s offense, contributing 46 catches for 595 yards and six touchdowns. He is one of only two rookies in NFL history – along with Hall of Famer Gale Sayers – to record six receiving touchdowns and scores on punt and kickoff returns.

He ranks second to Sproles in K-State history in both season (2,296 in 2014) and career (6,586) all-purpose yards. Lockett also broke the school career receiving records for catches (249), yards (3,710) and touchdowns (29), eclipsing all three marks that were held by his father, Kevin (1993-96). In all, Lockett left K-State after breaking 17 school records.

This year marks the second-straight season two former Wildcats made the Pro Bowl as Sproles was joined by Green Bay Packer wide receiver Jordy Nelson (2004-07) in 2015.

The 2016 NFL Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 31, and televised live on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. (ET) from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.