Willis Earns Spot on Hendricks Award Watch List

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State senior defensive end Jordan Willis was one of 28 players in the nation to be named to the watch list for the 2016 Ted Hendricks Award, presented annually to the nation’s best defensive end, the Ted Hendricks Foundation has announced.

Willis’ inclusion on the list marks the fourth time since 2012 that a Wildcat has been up for the award and the seventh since the award’s inception in 2002. Most recently, Ryan Mueller was a two-time candidate (2013-14), while Ian Campbell was up for the award three times (2006-08), including being a semifinalist in 2006. Meshak Williams was also a candidate for the award during K-State’s Big 12 Championship season of 2012.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, and one of just two Big 12 players on this year’s watch list (Josh Carraway, TCU), Willis played at an All-Big 12 level in 2015 as he made 36 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, three pass breakups, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. A 2016 Preseason All-Big 12 pick, Willis finished his junior season ranked 13th nationally and tied for first in the Big 12 in forced fumbles, while he was 24th in the NCAA and second in the league in sacks.

K-State fans can get their first look at Willis and the 2016 Wildcats this Saturday as K-State hosts the annual Fan Appreciation Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Gates open at 5 p.m., and fans can watch the final hour of practice prior to a one-hour autograph session on the field.

The West Stadium Center ticket office will be open during the free event for fans wishing to purchase single-game tickets. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to purchase a special one-day-only ticket package that includes a souvenir for the Fan Appreciation Day autograph session as a K-State mini-helmet will be included in the first 100 Wildcat 4 Packs purchased in person at the west ticket booth of Bill Snyder Family Stadium starting at 4 p.m.

Ticket availability for the Missouri State (September 24) and Texas (October 22) games is down to scattered singles and standing room only. Wildcat 4 Packs, which include four reserved tickets, are still available for K-State’s other four home games and are only $99 for FAU (September 17), $149 for Texas Tech (October 8) and Kansas (November 26), and $199 for Oklahoma State (November 5). The mini-helmet Wildcat 4 Packs are limited to the first 100 purchases in person on Fan Appreciation Day.

Those who are unable to attend Fan Appreciation Day can still order tickets online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or at the main ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State opens the 2016 football season with a nationally-televised matchup at Stanford on Friday, September 2. Kickoff at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California, is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT), and the game will be aired on FS1.