Campus Corner

K-State’s Collin Klein is Big 12’s athlete of the year

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.

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
School yearFemaleMale
1996-97 Nanceen Perry, TexasJacque 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 ATaylor Jungmann, Texas
2011-12 Brittney Griner, Baylor Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2012-13 Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma Collin Klein, Kansas State