MANHATTAN — 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.
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 a 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 nominees included Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, K-State tennis player Petra Niedermayerova and Kansas softball player Maggie Hull.
Previous winners include Robert Griffin III, Vince Young, Nick Collison, Jacque Vaughn, Brittney Griner and Nicole Ohlde.