Mueller Named Lott Trophy Quarterfinalist

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State senior defensive end Ryan Mueller has been named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced Wednesday.

Mueller, a product of Leawood, Kansas, is one of 20 quarterfinalists nationally for the award that honors the player that best embodies the IMPACT moniker - Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. He is the second Wildcat in the last three years to be named a quarterfinalist for the award as Arthur Brown was one of four finalists in 2012, while Ty Zimmerman was a preseason candidate last season.

One of only two quarterfinalists from the Big 12 this season, Mueller is a former walk-on who worked his way into the starting lineup last season as he was named an All-American in 2013 in addition to Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year honors. Mueller recording a school-record tying 11.5 sacks in 2013 and has added to his total this year to rank in the school's career top 10. In six starts this year for the 5-1 Wildcats, Mueller has recorded 16 tackles, four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two pass breakups.

Off the field, Mueller has provided value to the community in many ways, but maybe none better than befriending a boy named Kaiden Schroeder, who has suffered from Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Mueller has traveled to Kansas City on many occasions to visit Kaiden, while he also traveled to Philadelphia when Kaiden was in the hospital. Additionally, the nine-year old has attended numerous K-State football events as a guest of Mueller.

Eight semifinalists for the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy will be chosen on November 11, while ballots will then be sent to more than 400 national voters - a panel that includes former coaches and players, members of the media, past Lott IMPACT Trophy winners and finalists, as well as members of the Board of Directors for the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.

Four finalists will fly to Newport Beach, California, for a black-tie gala at the Pacific Club on December 14, where the winner will be announced. The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will make a $25,000 donation to the general scholarship fund of the winner's university and $5,000 to each school of the runner-up finishers.

No. 11 Kansas State hosts Texas on Saturday in an 11 a.m., contest at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The annual Homecoming game will be the 18th-straight home sellout and shown to a national audience on ESPN. Standing-room only tickets remain available, and those tickets may be purchased through the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or at the main ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum.