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K-State's Banks earns Big 12 honors as top special teams player

Kansas State kick returner Brandon Banks was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year, and running back Daniel Thomas was named Offensive Newcomer of the Year in Big 12 Conference awards announced Tuesday.

MU defensive end Aldon Smith was selected the league's Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Missouri wide receiver Danario Alexander, kicker Grant Ressel and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe were first-team selections on the all-conference team. Banks and Thomas also were first-team selections, along with Wildcat tight end Jeron Mastrud and offensive lineman Nick Stringer.

Wide receiver Kerry Meier was the only KU player on the second team. On the second team from Missouri were offensive lineman Kurtis Gregory and defensive lineman Jaron Baston. Banks earned second-team honors as a wide receiver.

Tigers gaining honorable mention outside of the individual award voting were: Carl Gettis, DB; Jake Harry, P; Dan Hoch, OL; Jared Perry, WR; Kevin Rutland, DB; Jasper Simmons, DB; Aldon Smith, DL; Derrick Washington, RB.

KU players on the honorable mention team include: offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson, defensive end Jake Laptad, quarterback Todd Reesing, punter Alonso Rojas and safety Darrell Stuckey.

Wildcat honorable mention players were Jeffrey Fitzgerald, DE; Tysyn Hartman, DB; and Joshua Moore, DB.

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