MANHATTAN, Kan. — Collin Klein’s time at Kansas State is over, but the former quarterback won another prestigious college honor on Thursday when he was chosen Big 12 male athlete of the year for 2012-13.
By KELLIS ROBINETT
The Kansas City Star
The award comes seven months after Klein played his final game in a K-State uniform. His accomplishments — 2,641 passing yards, 920 rushing yards and 39 total touchdowns while leading the Wildcats to an 11-1 record as a senior — were strong enough to beat out contenders from across the conference.
Klein won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy following his stellar senior season. He helped the Wildcats win 11 games and claim a league championship for the first time since 2003. He also guided them to the Fiesta Bowl and was viewed as a model student-athlete.
He recently completed a series of youth football camps across Kansas and is currently working to improve his game in case he gets invited to an NFL training camp. Klein was not selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. He participated in the Houston Texans’ rookie camp as a free agent.
Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts was chosen Big 12 female athlete of the year.
Nominees were submitted by each Big 12 school and selected by a media panel based on their on-field accomplishments, academic achievements and citizenship.
Other male nominees for the award were Nick Florence (Baylor), Scott Fernandez (Iowa State), Ben McLemore (Kansas), Kendric Maple (Oklahoma), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Charles Silmon (TCU), Ryan Crouser (Texas), Kennedy Kithuka (Texas Tech) and Harrison Musgrave (West Virginia).
Other female candidates were Brittney Griner (Baylor), Betsy Saina (Iowa State), Maggie Hull (Kansas), Petra Niedermayerova (Kansas State), Natalja Piliusina (Oklahoma State), Lorraine Ugen (TCU), Haley Eckerman (Texas), Kim Kaufman (Texas Tech) and Amanda Nugent (West Virginia).
Big 12 athletes of the year
|1996-97||Nanceen Perry, Texas||Jacque Vaughn, Kansas|
|1997-99||Vera Ilyina, Texas||Grant Wistrom, Nebraska|
|1998-99||Suziann Reid, Texas||Ricky Williams, Texas|
|1999-00||Erin Aldrich, Texas||Charles Howell, Oklahoma State|
|2000-01||Greichaly Cepero, Nebraska||Josh Heupel, Oklahoma|
|2001-02||Stacey Dales-Schuman, Oklahoma||Cael Sanderson, Iowa State|
|2002-03||Cat Osterman, Texas||Nick Collison, Kansas|
|2003-04||Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State||Jason White, Oklahoma|
|2004-05||Cat Osterman, Texas||Derrick Johnson, Texas|
|2005-06||Cat Osterman, Texas||Vince Young, Texas|
|2006-07||Sarah Pavan, Nebraska||Ben Askren, Missouri|
|2007-08||Sarah Pavan, Nebraska||Chase Daniel, Missouri|
|2008-09||Destinee Hooker, Texas||Sam Bradford, Oklahoma|
|2009-10||Lisa Koll, Iowa State||Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska|
|2010-11||Jessica Beard, Texas A&M||Taylor Jungmann, Texas|
|2011-12||Brittney Griner, Baylor||Robert Griffin III, Baylor|
|2012-13||Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma||Collin Klein, Kansas State|