Archer, Wafford Named to Watch Lists

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State linebacker Brandon Archer and offensive lineman Greg Wafford have both been named to preseason watch lists for three of the nation’s top postseason awards for college football players.


Archer is one of 65 players, including seven from the Big 12 Conference, named to the 2006 Butkus Award Watch List, given annually to the nation’s best linebacker in college football, while Wafford has been named to watch lists for both the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. Wafford is one of 100 players named to the Rotary Lombardi Award list, while the senior is among a list of 54 players on the Outland Trophy watch list.


The Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia Bank, honors the top offensive lineman, defensive lineman or linebacker in college football while raising funds for the American Cancer Society. The Outland Trophy, selected and presented by the Football Writer’s Association of America, is given annually to the nation’s top offensive or defensive lineman.


Archer, a native of St. Paul, Minn., and one of the Wildcats’ team captains for 2006, was an All-Big 12 selection in 2005 after leading the Wildcats with 72 tackles, 9.5 for a loss, and three sacks. The senior-to-be started all 11 games a year ago and also had six or more tackles in nine games. His interception returned for a touchdown against Missouri sealed the 36-28 win in former head coach Bill Snyder’s final game at Kansas State.


In 2004, Archer earned All-Big 12 honors after leading the squad with 77 tackles and recording two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns.


The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Thursday, October 19.  That semi-finalist list will be cut down to three finalists which will be announced on Thursday, November 9, with the winner will be announced Saturday, December 9 at the Butkus Award Gala in Orlando, Fla.  The Butkus Award will be presented to the winner by the award’s namesake, former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Fame member Dick Butkus.


The preseason honor is the second for Archer as the senior was also named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List back in June.


Wafford, a native of Lancaster, Texas, developed into one of the team’s best lineman a year ago and is expected to anchor the offensive line at guard in 2006. Voted one of K-State’s four captains for 2006 by his teammates, Wafford is expected to vie for All-Big 12 consideration this season.


Last season, Wafford started all 11 games at right tackle and posted solid grades all season en route to being named the team’s Co-Outstanding Offensive Lineman.