K-State hands out 2006 football awards

MANHATTAN, Kan. Senior Brandon Archer was named Kansas State’s defensive MVP, freshman Josh Freeman collected the team’s offensive MVP award and senior Yamon Figurs was tapped as the Wildcats’ special teams player of the year Saturday as head coach Ron Prince announced K-State team awards for 2006.

A first team All-Big 12 selection during 2006, Archer led the wildcats in tackles for the third straight season and ranked sixth in the Big 12 with a career single-season high 106 total stops. Archer also totaled seven tackles for losses, including 2.5 sacks, and scooped up two fumbles.

Freeman started the final eight games of the 2006 season and was the lone true freshman quarterback to guide his team to a postseason bowl berth. The nation’s leading true freshman passer in yards per start (195.8) last season, Freeman set the K-State freshman passing record with 1,780 yards on 140-of-270 accuracy (52 percent), including a 269-yard, four touchdown (three passing and one rushing) performance in the Wildcats’ win over No. 4 Texas.

A first team All-Big 12 selection as a kick/punt returner, Figurs ranked fifth in the nation in punt returns last season, averaging 14.7 per attempt with two touchdowns. His 81-yard return for a touchdown vs. Illinois State was the longest in the Big 12 during 2006. He also had a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Texas Bowl vs. Rutgers to go along with a 52-yard return against Texas that led to another score and helped earned him Big 12 special teams player-of-the-week honors.

Other award recipients included senior Greg Wafford (Outstanding Offensive Lineman), senior Zach Diles (Outstanding Defensive Front), and junior Daniel Gonzalez (Most Improved Offensive Player). The team’s Scholar-Athlete Award went to senior Blake Seiler, who also earned second team CoSIDA Academic All-District honors iin 2006.

2006 Kansas State Football Team Awards
Overachiever Award: Heath Alexander
Red Raider Award: Rimmon McNeese
Scholar-Athlete Award: Blake Seiler
Purple Pride Award: Marcus Perry
Ken Ochs Courage Award: Jordan Bedore
Kevin Saunders (Never Give Up): Marcus Watts
Bob Cope Memorial Award: Donald Raymer
Nancy Bennett Memorial Award: Dylan Meier
Anthony A. Bates Memorial Award: Quentin Echols
Joan Friederich Award: Jordy Nelson 
Jim “Shorty” Kleinau Award: Kyle Williams
Most Improved Defensive Player Award: Ian Campbell
Most Improved Offensive Player Award: Daniel Gonzales
Outstanding Defensive Front: Zach Diles
Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Greg Wafford
Specialty Team Player of the Year: Yamon Figurs
Most Valuable Player-Defense: Brandon Archer
Most Valuable Player-Offense: Josh Freeman