Wildcat Football: Plenty Of Post Season Honors
The Kansas State Wildcat Football team is busy preparing for their showdown with Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl and they are receiving a lot of well deserved post-season recognition.
Highlighted by several All-America accolades for senior defensive end Jordan Willis, 11 Kansas State football players have been honored for their play during the 2016 season as various media outlets have released their All-America and All-Big 12 teams over the past week, according to a media release from Kansas State Athletics.
Willis was named a Second Team All-American by Sporting News and Pro Football Focus in addition to third-team honors from the Associated Press and Phil Steele, fourth-team honors from Athlon and honorable mention accolades from FOX Sports. It marked the first All-America designation by a K-State defensive end since Ryan Mueller in 2013, while a Wildcat has earned at least second team All-America honors each of the last seven seasons.
A product of Kansas City, Missouri, who was also named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by Athlon, Willis has tied K-State’s single-season record with 11.5 sacks to lead the Big 12 and rank ninth nationally, while he ranks 20th nationally with 16.5 tackles for loss. Willis also earned First Team All-Big 12 honors from Athlon, ESPN.com and Phil Steele.
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On the other side of the defensive front, redshirt freshman defensive end Reggie Walker picked up First Team Freshman All-America honors from Campus Insiders, marking the third-straight season a Wildcat has earned Freshman All-America accolades. Walker has 6.5 sacks this season – the second-most in school history among freshmen – in addition to 11.0 TFLs.
Walker, who was also named the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year by both Athlon and ESPN.com, was one of four Wildcats to be named to ESPN.com’s All-Big 12 Underclassmen Team as he was joined on the list by a trio of sophomores in offensive lineman Dalton Risner, kick returner Byron Pringle and defensive back D.J. Reed. Pringle was also a First Team All-Big 12 honoree by Athlon, while Risner and Reed were named to the publication’s second team.
Risner and Pringle picked up First Team All-Big 12 honors from ESPN.com and Phil Steele, while Reed was ESPN.com’s Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in addition to being a Second Team All-Big 12 pick by the organization.
Other Wildcats to earn postseason accolades include: junior Elijah Lee, a First Team All-Big 12 linebacker by Athlon, ESPN.com and Phil Steele; senior offensive lineman Terrale Johnson and junior defensive tackle Will Geary, both Second Team All-Big 12 performers by Athlon and ESPN.com; while Geary, senior defensive back Dante Barnett, sophomore fullback Winston Dimel and junior punter Nick Walsh were each named Third Team All-Big 12 performers according to Phil Steele.
Winners of five games over the second half of the regular season, Kansas State (8-4, 6-3 Big 12) faces former Big 12 foe Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4 SEC) in the 2016 AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on Wednesday, December 28. It marks the 20th bowl game in school history and the 18th under Hall of Fame head coach Bill Snyder. The game kicks off at 8 p.m., and will be shown to a national audience on ESPN, while it can be heard across the K-State Sports Network and on ESPN Radio.
Public tickets for K-State fans are available at the K-State Online Ticket Office and through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum or via phone at 1-800-221-CATS. Fans are strongly encouraged to order through K-State’s official allotment to ensure that all Wildcat fans are seated in the official K-State sections of the stadium. The location for K-State’s ticket allotment at the Texas Bowl is among the best of any bowl game with prime sideline seating locations available for $85.
K-State’s Postseason Honors from Media Outlets
Dante Barnett: Third Team All-Big 12 (Phil Steele)
Winston Dimel: Third Team All-Big 12 (Phil Steele)
Will Geary: Second Team All-Big 12 (ESPN.com); Third Team All-Big 12 (Phil Steele)
Terrale Johnson: Second Team All-Big 12 (ESPN.com)
Elijah Lee: First Team All-Big 12 (ESPN.com, Phil Steele)
Byron Pringle: First Team All-Big 12 [kr] (ESPN.com, Phil Steele); All-Big 12 Underclassmen Team (ESPN.com)
D.J. Reed: Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year (ESPN.com); Second Team All-Big 12 (ESPN.com), All-Big 12 Underclassmen Team (ESPN.com)
Dalton Risner: First Team All-Big 12 (ESPN.com, Phil Steele); All-Big 12 Underclassmen Team (ESPN.com)
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Reggie Walker: First Team Freshman All-American (Campus Insiders); Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year (ESPN.com, Athlon); All-Big 12 Underclassmen Team (ESPN.com)
Nick Walsh: Third Team All-Big 12 (Phil Steele)
Jordan Willis: Second Team All-American (Sporting News, Pro Football Focus); Third Team All-American (Associated Press, Phil Steele); Fourth Team All-American (Athlon); Honorable Mention All-American (FOX Sports); Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (Athlon); First Team All-Big 12 (ESPN.com; Phil Steele, Athlon)