K-State Places Three on Preseason All-Big 12 Team

Tyler Lockett averaged 35.2 yards per kickoff return in 2011

July 18, 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State senior linebacker Arthur Brown, senior defensive back Nigel Malone and sophomore kick returner Tyler Lockett were named to the 2012 Preseason All-Big 12 team after a vote of various media members who cover the league, the conference office announced Wednesday.

The three Wildcats on the Preseason All-Big 12 team are the most since 2003 when K-State had four selections. All three players, each of whom earned All-Big 12 accolades following the 2011 season, were first-time members of the preseason team.

Big 12 newcomer Geno Smith, quarterback of West Virginia, was named the preseason offensive player of the year, while Texas defensive end Alex Okafor and Oklahoma wide receiver Trey Metoyer picked up preseason defensive and newcomer of the year honors, respectively.

Brown, the 2011 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, led the K-State defense with 101 tackles, the most by a Wildcat since 2006. He also came away with 9.5 tackles for loss and an interception of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III that led to the game-winning field goal against No. 15 Baylor. A native of Wichita, Kan., Brown is on the watch list for four major college football awards (Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award).

A product of Manteca, Calif., Malone led the Big 12 and ranked third nationally last season with seven interceptions, a mark that ranked second in school history and tied for fifth in Big 12 history. A semifinalist for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award, Malone was a Second Team Walter Camp All-American, a Third Team Associated Press All-American and earned First Team All-Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches and Associated Press. The former community-college transfer was named to the watch lists for the 2012 Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award.

Lockett burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2011 as both a wide receiver and kick returner. A native of Tulsa, Okla., Lockett set the Big 12 and K-State single-season records for kickoff return average at 35.2 yards per return. He also took kickoffs back for touchdowns in consecutive weeks at Texas Tech and at Kansas as he was one of 10 players nationally with at least two kickoff return scores and the first K-State player to ever do so in consecutive games.

For his efforts, Lockett was named a 2011 First Team Walter Camp All-American, the lone true freshman on the team. He also picked up Second Team All-America accolades from Sports Illustrated and Rivals.com, while he was named the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year after hauling in 18 receptions for 246 yards and three touchdowns.

The Wildcats will participate in the annual Big 12 Football Media Days, July 23, in Dallas, Texas. Representing K-State at the event will be head coach Bill Snyder, quarterback Collin Klein, linebackers Arthur Brown and Tre Walker, and defensive back Ty Zimmerman.

Kansas State kicks off the 2012 campaign against Missouri State on Saturday, September 1 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. A four-pack of tickets for the fourth annual K-State Family Reunion game, as well as the game against North Texas on September 15, can be purchased for $75 by August 1.

Also, tickets for the September 8 contest against the University of Miami are going fast but remain available for $75 (bench seating) and $85 (premium bench seating). For more information on season or single-game tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.k-statesports.com/tickets.