Kansas State juniors Ryan Mueller and Tyler Lockett won Big 12 individual awards handed out by the league’s coaches on Wednesday.
The Kansas City Star
Mueller, a St. Thomas Aquinas grad from Leawood, was chosen defensive lineman of the year, while Lockett won special teams player of the year.
Additionally, offensive lineman B.J. Finney and defensive back Ty Zimmerman joined Mueller and Lockett, who was honored as a receiver and as a kick returner, on the coaches’ All-Big 12 first team.
Kansas safety Isaiah Johnson was chosen defensive newcomer of the year. Johnson, a sophomore transfer from Cary, N.C., had five interceptions, the most by a KU player since 2008.
Also, KU senior running back James Sims and junior linebacker Ben Heeney, and K-State junior offensive lineman Cody Whitehair were second-team picks by the coaches.
Mueller led K-State with 11 1/2 sacks. He also made 61 tackles, and was a candidate for The Associated Press’ Big 12 defensive player of the year award, which went to Texas end Jackson Jeffcoat. The coaches’ defensive player of the year award was shared by Jeffcoat and TCU cornerback Jason Verrett.
Lockett led the Big 12 with 151.4 all-purpose yards per game and holds the K-State career kickoff-return yardage record with 1,760. He ranks second with four career kickoff-return touchdowns and a 30.9-yard kickoff-return average.