Kansas State University

New NCAA sack leader Ryan Mueller of K-State wins Big 12 award

Kansas State junior defensive end Ryan Mueller is once again the Big 12 defensive player of the week.

Mueller, a St. Thomas Aquinas grad from Leawood, won the honor for the second consecutive week on Monday after taking over a share of the NCAA lead in sacks with 10 1/2 following a three-sack performance in the Wildcats’ 49-26 win at Texas Tech.

It was the latest strong game for Mueller, who also forced a fumble Saturday. He came to K-State as a walk-on, but is one of the main reasons the Wildcats are playing at a high level on defense.

“Obviously, (we have made) a lot of improvement,” Mueller said Saturday. “We are winning. Everyone is patting us on the back. Things are going good now. We just have to keep climbing and get better.”

On Monday, K-State coach Bill Snyder was asked what brought Mueller to Manhattan as a walk-on.

“His nature,” Snyder said during the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference. “He just wanted to compete at the best level he possibly could.”

He has. Mueller has 45 tackles and 15 tackles for loss, which ranks second in the country. He is tied with Louisville’s Marcus Smith for the sack lead, topping three players with 10, including Missouri’s Michael Sam. Also, Mueller ranks 14th in forced fumbles with three.