Collin Klein won his first national award of the postseason on Monday and was also announced as one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Klein, the Kansas State senior quarterback, is the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, presented annually to a quarterback who combines on-field success and academic achievement. To be eligible for the award, players must be nearing completion of their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with his recruiting class.
Later Monday, Klein joined Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o as finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded Saturday night in New York.
“Collin is not just a tremendous athlete and leader on the field, but an MVP off the field as well, who repeatedly has been recognized for his numerous contributions to the community and to the spirit of sportsmanship,” said John C. Unitas Jr., president of The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
Klein led the Wildcats to 11 wins and a Big 12 championship by throwing for 2,490 yards, rushing for 890 yards and scoring 37 total touchdowns. K-State will play Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3.
Klein was one of 29 candidates for the award when the season began, and one of five finalists. The other four were Matt Barkley, EJ Manuel, AJ McCarron and Geno Smith.
Past winners include six quarterbacks who went on to claim the Heisman Trophy as well as current NFL players Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Brady Quinn, Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck.
Klein, along with K-State coach, Bill Snyder, will be in Baltimore on Friday to receive the award.