K-State Tallies School Record Academic All-Big 12 Honors

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Kansas State set a school record by placing 29 players on the Academic All-Big 12 teams, including 20 first teamers, as the conference office announced its list of 156 recipients Thursday morning.


The Wildcats' previous record for all-conference accolades was 16 in 2011, while this year's 29-man group is the most in the Big 12 since 2001 (Nebraska: 33) and tied for the sixth most in league history.

K-State's first-team members included two that were nominated with a 4.0 GPA in fullback Glenn Gronkowski (marketing) and wide receiver Stanton Weber (accounting). Gronkowski along with another first-teamer, Curry Sexton (management and marketing), were named to the Academic All-District 7 team two weeks ago and are eligible for Academic All-America accolades. Another first-teamer, wide receiver Tyler Lockett (management), is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, commonly referred to as the "Academic Heisman."

Joining Gronkowski, Weber, Sexton and Lockett on the first team are Joseph Bonugli (biology), Jack Cantele (civil engineering), Will Davis (accounting and finance), Randall Evans (sociology/American ethnic studies), B.J. Finney (history/wildlife outdoor enterprise management), Will Geary (mechanical engineering), Weston Hiebert (agricultural economics), Zach Nemechek (life science/social science), Ian Patterson (food science and industry), Collin Sexton (business administration), David Smith (entrepreneurship), Trent Tanking (mathematics), Zach Trujillo (marketing and management information systems), Jonathan Truman (kinesiology), Jake Waters (management) and Tanner Wood (pre-veterinary medicine).

Second-team members included Deante Burton (journalism and mass communications), Laton Dowling (MBA), Charles Jones (sociology/criminology), Drew Liddle (MBA), Matthew McCrane (business administration), Ryan Mueller (marketing), DeAndre Roberts (social science), Nick Walsh (marketing and finance) and Cody Whitehair (sociology).

The 2014 accolades marked the fifth time in the last six seasons the Wildcats had at least 10 academic all-conference honors. Since head coach Bill Snyder's return in 2009, Kansas State has seen a considerable increase in Academic All-Big 12 honorees as the Wildcats have produced 88 accolades in the last six seasons (14.7 per season), including 58 first-team honors (9.7 per season).

Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the football academic all-league squad consisted of 91 first-team members combined with 65 on the second team. First-team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

No. 12/11 Kansas State plays in a nationally-televised matchup at West Virginia tonight. The game, which kicks off at 6 p.m. (CT), will be shown on FOX Sports 1.

The Wildcats return home next Saturday, Nov. 29, for the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against in-state rival Kansas, a game that kicks off at 3 p.m., on FOX Sports 1. Scattered singles and standing-room only tickets are available for the game against the Jayhawks, 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.