Ring of Honor, 98 Team Highlight 2008 Opener
Ring of Honor, 98 Team Highlight 2008 Opener
MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State Athletics Department and football program will welcome four new members to the K-State Football Ring of Honor and begin a season-long celebration of the 1998 season on August 30 when the Wildcats host North Texas.
Former Wildcat greats David Allen, Martin Gramatica, Terence Newman and Mark Simoneau will comprise the second class inducted into the Ring of Honor, bringing the total number in the elite fraternity to 10.
"We are thrilled to honor four of our football greats who helped lay the groundwork for Kansas State football and who are tremendous ambassadors for our university," said Athletics Director Bob Krause. “Each of these individuals has proven to be the epitome of excellence both on the field and in their personal and professional lives and we are proud to call them K-Staters.”
Prior to the 2007 season, these four legends of Kansas State football were the last to earn Consensus All-America status and will have their names permanently affixed to the facing inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium during a halftime presentation of the North Texas game.
The inaugural class, which was honored in 2002, included Lynn Dickey, Steve Grogan, Jaime Mendez, Sean Snyder, Gary Spani and Veryl Switzer, all of whom will be invited back to attend the 2008 festivities.
Commemorative posters and memorabilia of the inductees, past and present, will be available online at k-statesports.com for purchase and season ticket holders and purchasers of single-game tickets for the season opener against North Texas will be given a special promotional discount towards the purchase of posters.
The Ring of Honor is designed to recognize those in the football program who have distinguished themselves on and off the field. Among the criteria considered is quality of character, whether the person is an excellent representative of K-State, whether a person has achieved performance that warrants consensus All-America level status at Kansas State University and the student-athlete has to be at least five years out of school.
The 2008 season also marks the 10-year anniversary of the 1998 Wildcat team that went to No. 1 in the national rankings for the first time in school history and went unblemished during the regular season. A season-long celebration of the #1 season will begin August 30 when members of the Big 12 North Champion squad are recognized.
Special online products and memorabilia recognizing the 1998 season will also be available all season long, including the Wildcat Classic” 1998 K-state vs. Nebraska football game DVD with optional audio commentary from former head coach Bill Snyder and selected players as well as highlights from the entire 2008 season.
2008 RING OF HONOR INDUCTEES
Running Back/Punt Returner
Lettered from 1997-2000
2000 (senior): Helped team to an 11-3 record en route to a Big 12 North Championship... Shared punt-return duties with Aaron Lockett as he returned 12 punts for 123 yards (10.25 avg)... Ranked sixth on the team in all-purpose yardage with 425 (47.2 avg)... Had 62 rushes for 230 yards and one touchdown... Best rushing game of season came in a 27-7 victory over Iowa at Arrowhead Stadium as he had 15 rushes for 65 yards, including a one-yard touchdown... Touchdown was the first for the Wildcats on the season... Also had nine rushes for 60 yards against Oklahoma ... Returned two punts for 65 yards against Texas Tech... Left K-State as the leader in career punt-return average (16.0), yards (1,646), attempts (103) and touchdowns (7), all of which still stand.
1999 (junior): First-team All-American return specialist on the AFCA/Burger King All-American squad... Second-team All-America pick by The Sporting News and the Associated Press... One of five finalists for the Mosi Tatupu Special Teams Player Award, given to the nation's outstanding special teams player... Named first-team All-Big 12 punt retuner by the Big 12 coaches, Kansas City Star , Associated Press, Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman ... Earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors for performances against Iowa State and Texas ... Tied K-State and Big 12 record for longest punt return with a 94-yard touchdown against Iowa State ... Came back the next week to return a punt for a 74-yard touchdown at Texas to give K-State the lead in a 35-17 victory... Touchdown runs against Texas on Oct. 2 and Missouri on Nov. 20 were chosen Compaq Best Runs of the Week... K-State coaches' Special Teams Player of the Week for performances against Iowa State , Texas and Nebraska ... Chosen as a team representative for the 1999 season... Tied K-State and Big 12 single-game record with seven punt returns against UTEP... Named K-State's Special Teams Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
1998 (sophomore): Consensus All-American... Named first-team All-American return specialist by the Associated Press, Football Writers Associated of America ... (FWAA) and The Sporting News ... First-team All-Big 12 punter returner by the Associated Press, Big 12 coaches and the Kansas City Star ... Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week against Texas ... K-State's co-Special Teams Player of the Year... Led the nation in punt returns with a 22.1 average and four touchdowns... First and only player in NCAA history to return punts for touchdowns in three consecutive games as he took one back against Indiana State , Northern Illinois and Texas in consecutive weeks... Tied NCAA record with four punt returns for touchdowns during the season... Broke own school and Big 12 record with 730 yards in punt returns... Set K-State and Big 12 season record for combined punt and kickoff return yardage with 783 yards... Broke his own K-State and Big 12 record with 172 yards in punt returns against Texas to earn Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors... His 33 punt returns were eighth most in the nation and ranks as the second most in school history... Rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in the 1998 Alamo Bowl.
1997 (redshirt freshman): Second-team All-Big 12 punt returner by league coaches, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram and the Kansas City Star ... Ranked second in the Big 12 and 16th nationally in punt returns with an average of 13.43, the fifth best in school history... Set a Kansas State single game record with 125 yards in punt returns against Texas A&M to earn Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors... Returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown against Kansas ... His 30 punt returns are fifth most in K-State history... Caught a TD pass from Michael Bishop in his collegiate debut at Northern Illinois ... Had a 93-yard punt return called back at Oklahoma on a penalty... Had a 35-yard kickoff return and a 45-yard punt return in win at Iowa State ... Had one rush for 12 yards against Kansas ... Special Teams Player of the Game pick by K-State coaches following games against Texas A&M and Kansas ... Returned four punts for 48 yards, including a long of 33 yards in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Lettered from 1994-1995 and 1997-1998
1998 (senior): Walter Camp All-American... AFCA All-American... Second-team all-America by the Associated Press ... Set NCAA record for scoring by a kicker in a season with 135 points... Runner up for Lou Groza Place-Kicker Award... Finalist for Mosi Tatupu Special Teams Award... Blasted a 65-yard field goal against Northern Illinois for the fourth-longest field goal in NCAA history, and the longest in NCAA history without the use of a tee... The 65-yarder set a Kansas State and Big 12 record and earned him Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors... Started the season with a 55-yard field goal against Indiana State ... Set a school record with nine extra points against Indiana State ... Set a school record with 18 kicking points vs. Kansas ... Set a school record for field goals in a game with four against Kansas and vs. Texas A&M... K-State's career scoring leader with 349 points... Set school records for field goals made in a season (22) and for a career (54) as well as field goal attempts in a season (31) and for a career (70), all of which still stand.
1997 (junior): Consensus All-American... Winner of the 1997 Lou Groza Collegiate Place -Kicker Award as the nation's top kicker, the first major award winner in Kansas State history... First-team all-America pick the by Football Writers Association of American (FWAA), Associated Press, The Sporting News and Football News ... Finalist for the Inaugural Tatupu Award, given to the nation's outstanding special teams player... First-team All-Big 12 pick by Big 12 coaches, Associated Press , Football News, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News, Waco Tribune and Kansas City Star ... Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Colorado ... AT&T Long Distance Award for 55-yard field goal vs. Ohio ... Led the nation in field-goal accuracy by making 19-of-20 (.950) field goal attempts... Set the K-State single season record with 19 field goals, while also setting a school record with 13 consecutive made field goals... Started the season with 12 consecutive successful field goals until missing 45-yarder at Oklahoma with a strong south wind... Came back to make a kick from the same distance later in the game... The only kicker in Kansas State history to boot two 50-yard field goals in the same game as he did so against Ohio and to make three 50-yard field goals in the same season... His 55-yard field goal against Ohio tied the Big 12 record for longest field goal and the third-longest in K-State history ... Set a school scoring record for kickers by scoring 14 points (3 FG, 5 PAT) vs. Bowling Green... The K-State career scoring record he broke had been established in 1933 (196 points by Ralph Graham) before being tied in 1993 by kicker Tate Wright... His 94 points scored were the third-most in a season at K-State and the most ever by a Wildcat kicker... Led the Big 12, and finished third in the nation, in field goals (1.73 per game)... Was fifth in the Big 12 in scoring with an average of 8.6 points per game... Tied the school's single-game field goal record four times with three field goals against Ohio , Bowling Green , Texas A&M and Colorado ... Had a consecutive PAT streak of 44 snapped with block at Oklahoma ... Stands third on the K-State career field goal list with 32 (five behind co-leaders Steve Willlis, 37-58, and Mark Porter, 37-54, 1985-88) and is K-State's career field goal accuracy leader with 82.1 success rate... Broke the season record by six with his 19 field goals in 1997... Missed the entire 1996 season after tearing ACL in kicking knee prior to the season... K-State Special Teams Player of the Game by coaching staff vs. Bowling Green and Colorado .
1996 (medical redshirt): Sat out season as medical redshirt after suffering knee injury during week prior to season opener ... Two-year starting placekicker ... Has made 13-of-19 career field goals, including nine of his last 12 ... Hasn't had much of an opportunity to showcase his range, but was lining up to attempt a 62-yarder in the 1996 spring game when time expired ... Had already made field goals of 52 and 45 yards in the '96 spring game.
1995 (sophomore): Didn't see many opportunities because of K-State's efficiency in the red zone (42 touchdowns in 58 red zone penetrations) ... Still connected on 7-of-10 field goals with two of his misses coming from 52 yards vs. Oklahoma and 54 yards vs. Akron ... Was 5-of-5 inside 30 yards and is 10-of-10 in his career from that distance ... Longest FG in 1995 was from 32 yards in the 41-7 victory over Kansas ... Kicked a 54-yarder in the 1994 spring game.
1994 (freshman): Connected on 6-of-9 field goals, including 5-of-5 from inside 30 yards ... Made 38-of-39 PATs ... Ranked eighth in the Big Eight in scoring with 57 points ... Scored 10 points in his collegiate debut by kicking four PATs and field goals of 23 and 25 yards vs. Southwestern Louisiana ... Added nine points in the second game of the year vs. Rice with three PATs and field goals of 40 and 27 yards ... Made his first four field goals, missed his next three and hit his last two.
Lettered from 1999-2002
2002 (Senior): Thorpe Award Winner as top defensive back in the nation... One of five finalists for Nagurski Trophy... Consensus All-American selection by the Associated Press, the Football Writers of America, Walter Camp, College Football News, American Football Coaches Association... Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by Associated Press, Dallas Morning News , Kansas City Star and the league's coaches... First-team All-Big 12 selection by Associated Press, Austin American-Statesman , Dallas Morning News and the coaches... First-team All-Big 12 selection as a kick returner by the coaches... Second-team All-Big 12 selection as a kick returner by Austin American-Statesman and Dallas Morning News ... Honorable mention All-Big 12 selection as an all-purpose player by Associated Press... CNNSI.com Midseason honorable mention All-American... Two-time Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week... Sixth on team in total tackles (second among defensive backs) with 54... Fifth in solo stops with 43... Had a career-high 10 tackles, including nine solos in Pacific Life Holiday Bowl win over Arizona State ... Had eight tackles (5 solo) and 0.5 tackles-for-loss for one yard in a win over Nebraska ... Six stops (4 solo) and a tackle for loss (-1) against Eastern Illinois ... Five tackles (4 solo) in a victory over USC... Had five tackles (3 solo) and a tackle for loss (-3) vs. Louisiana-Monroe... Made four tackles against Western Kentucky and Oklahoma State ... Credited with a team-high 14 pass breakups and one quarterback hurry... Started all 13 games at cornerback... Second on team behind Bobby Walker in interceptions with five for 21 yards... Had an 11-yard interception return at Baylor and a 7-yard return against Louisiana-Monroe... Averaged 4.2 yards per return... Tied for sixth on the career interceptions chart with 10... Only the ninth Wildcat ever to get 10 career picks... Had 26 points on a 51-yard pass reception on offense against Western Kentucky, a 40-yard punt return against Louisiana-Monroe, a 71-yard punt return at Missouri , a 95-yard kickoff return against Eastern Illinois and a 90-yard defensive extra-point on a blocked-kick return against USC... Only the third Wildcat in history to have scored on both a kickoff return and punt return and only the second to have accomplished that feat in the same season... Had 903 all-purpose yards, third on the team... Earned his all-purpose yards on one pass reception, five interceptions, 13 kick returns and 26 punt returns... Averaged 20.1 yards per touch of the ball... Had 26 punt returns for 388 yards, 14.9 average, two touchdowns and a long of 71 yards... Team leader in kick returns with 13 for 370 yards, 28.5 average, a touchdown and a long of 95 yards... Ranks fifth at K-State in season punt return yards and sixth in career yards (417)... Ranked third at K-State in season punt return average... Sixth in career kick return yards (834) and 2nd in career kick return average (26.1)... In addition to leading Wildcats with 10 tackles at 2002 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, finished with 149 all-purpose yards in 34-27 win over Arizona State ... Had two carries for 26 yards, three receptions for 47 yards, including a 36-yard catch, three kick returns for 19 yards and four punt returns for 30 yards.
2001 (Junior): Second team All-Big 12 selection by coaches, Dallas Morning News , Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Waco Tribune-Herald ... Honorable mention All-Big 12 selection by Associated Press... Named one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back of the year... Shared most improved defensive player with Terry Pierce... Started all 11 games at CB... One of eight Wildcats to start all 11 games at the same position... Ranked fifth in the Big 12 and 16th in the nation in passes defended with 19... K-State coaches' Defensive Player of the Game vs. Oklahoma ... Tabbed as coaches' Special Teams Player of the Game three times (USC, Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech)... Ranked fifth on the team with 51 total tackles, including 44 solo stops... Led the team with 14 passes broken up and two blocked kicks... Third on the team with three interceptions... Season-best seven tackles and three pass breakups against USC... Had an impressive all-around day against Oklahoma , picking off two passes and defending seven more to go with six solo tackles... Blocked his first kick of the season at Texas Tech... Tied a season-high with seven tackles and blocked his second kick vs. Nebraska ... Recovered a fumble against Louisiana Tech to go with six solo stops... Got his third interception vs. Missouri ... Also added three other pass breakups and five tackles... Totaled 211 yards on nine kickoff returns with a 23.4 yards per return average... Tallied a season-best 81 return yards on two carries against Missouri ... Posted a season-high three returns for 39 yards against Colorado ... Had a 30-yard return in the opener at USC... Returned one punt, a 13-yarder against Nebraska.
2000 (Sophomore): Played in all 14 games, including a start vs. Louisiana Tech as a member of Wildcats' nickel package vs. pass-prone Bulldogs... Recorded a career-high five tackles, including career-high three solos vs. Louisiana Tech in his first career start... Scored a touchdown on a 16-yard blocked-punt return against Oklahoma ... Three solo tackles at Kansas ... One interception, career-high two passes broken up vs. Ball State ... Also had 3-0-3 effort against Iowa State ... Returned three kicks for 44 yards, including 2 for 27 yards at Missouri (11/18).
1999 (Freshman): A developing backup defensive back who saw action in all 11 games... An outstanding special teams player... Had a 73-yard kickoff return against Baylor... Snagged his first career interception in 66-0 win over Missouri ... Totaled eight tackles on the season... Had an impressive spring game with 10 tackles, two passes broken up and an interception that he returned 18 yards.
Smith Center, Kan.
Lettered from 1996-1999
1999 (Senior): Consensus All-American... Finalist for the Butkus Award... First-team All-America pick by the AFCA, FWAA, Walter Camp and The Sporting News ... Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Big 12 Coaches, Associated Press, Dallas Morning News , Kansas City Star and Austin American-Statesman ... First-team All-Big 12 by Coaches, Associated Press, Dallas Morning News , Kansas City Star and Austin American-Statesman ... Three-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for performances vs. Kansas , Texas and Colorado ... Is the second player in K-State history to be selected a three-time team captain along with Brooks Barta, who also hailed from Smith Center, Kan... Finished third on the K-State career tackles chart with 400 total stops and third on the career tackle-for-loss list with 52... Also holds the season (111) and career (251) school records for unassisted tackles... Named to the All-America strength team by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
1998 (junior): Led the team with 95 tackles (58 unassisted)... Played in the last 11 games of the year after missing the season opener with muscle strain... Made more than 100 tackles in each of his first two seasons... May be the best all-around athlete on the team... Registered nine tackles-for-loss of 22 yards... Reached double figures in tackles in five games... Had best game of the year at Baylor with 14 tackles (10 solo), four tackles for loss (-16 yards), 1.5 sacks (-9) and an interception... Also intercepted a pass at Kansas ... Turned in 12 tackles against Northeast Louisiana and Oklahoma State ... Served the Wildcats as co-captain... Along with Darren Howard, was named the team's outstanding players among the defensive front seven.
1997 (sophomore): First-team All-Big 12 pick by Associated Press, Kansas City Star and Waco Tribune ... Second-team All-Big 12 by league coaches, Dallas Morning News and Ft. Worth Star-Telegram ... Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week vs. Missouri ... Named the team's Outstanding Defensive Front Seven player with classmate defensive end Darren Howard... Finished second on the team in tackles with 103, topping the century mark for the second consecutive season... Third on the team with 15 tackles for loss for -43 yards... Had four sacks for -22 yards... Recovered two fumbles and forced two others... Returned a fumble 15 yards to seal victory against Colorado ... Returned fumble six yards in season opener at Northern Illinois ... Had a season-high 16 tackles against Ohio ... Had 13 tackles, including 12 solos, and career-high five tackles-for-loss in win at Oklahoma ... Had three tackles-for-loss in win over Texas A&M... His 15 tackles-for-loss on the season ranked sixth in the Big 12... His 214 career tackles are more than anyone in K-State history after two years as a player... Served the Wildcats as co-captain in 1997... K-State Defensive Player of the Game by coaching staff vs. Missouri and Colorado ... Named the Football Lifter of the Year during the spring after he power-cleaned 385 pounds, bench-pressed 388 and safe-squatted 884... Chosen as a player representative for the 1997 season... Preseason second-team All-Big 12 selection by The Sporting News .
1996 (freshman): K-State's third consecutive player to earn conference defensive freshman of the year honors (Chris Canty in 1994, Travis Ochs in 1995)... Big 12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year by coaches ... First-team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News ... Honorable-mention All-Big 12 by coaches... Finished second on the team with 111 tackles to set a K-State freshman record... Third on the team with 11 tackles-for-loss, including 3.5 sacks...Third on team with eight passes broken up... Recovered fumble in final seconds at Texas A&M to clinch victory over Aggies... Had at least eight tackles in 10-of-11 games, including double-figure efforts against Cincinnati (11), Rice (11), Missouri (14), Texas A&M (13), Oklahoma (13) and Colorado (11)... Moved to outside linebacker from middle linebacker during fall drills and was extremely solid as full-time starter... Coaches' pick as Defensive Player of the Game vs. Texas A&M.