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K-State's Klein voted AP Big 12 player of year

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2012 at 10:47 am •  Published: December 5, 2012
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Fields was also the runaway winner of defensive newcomer of the year, while Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk was voted the conference's top newcomer on offense.

Klein has already won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and is up for several other national awards this week. He's one of three finalists for the Heisman, along with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, which will be handed out Saturday night in New York.

The senior from Loveland, Colo., was recruited to Kansas State under former coach Ron Prince, played for a while at wide receiver, and then transitioned back to quarterback. But he never approached the position in the way most do: He was just as comfortable bulldozing for yards as he was airing it out.

Klein threw for 2,490 yards and 15 touchdowns this season while running for 890 yards and 22 more touchdowns. He's the first player in the BCS era to have consecutive seasons with at least 10 touchdown passes and 20 touchdown runs, and the other three to even accomplish the feat once all won the Heisman: Auburn's Cam Newton in 2010, Florida's Tim Tebow in 2007 and Eric Crouch of Nebraska in 2000.

"Some crazy things have happened to lead our team and myself to this point," Klein said. "There are a lot of reasons for that. There's a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation that have been put in on so many people's part, and so many people have invested in me when I was going through a hard time or struggling."

Kansas State led the league with six first-team All-Big 12 selections: Klein, Brown, offensive lineman B.J. Finney, tight end Travis Tannahill, defensive lineman Meshak Williams and defensive back Ty Zimmerman. The Wildcats also had five second-team selections and eight honorable mentions.

Oklahoma State had the second-most first-team selections with five: running back Joseph Randle, wide receiver Josh Stewart, offensive lineman Lane Taylor and Quinn Sharp, who made it as both a punter and kicker.

Fields was joined on the first team by Verrett and TCU teammate Kenny Cain.

Oklahoma's Jefferson and Colvin were joined by Gabe Ikard on the first team. Baylor's Williams and Cyril Richardson, Texas Tech's LaAdrian Waddle and Kerry Hyder, West Virginia's Austin and Stedman Bailey, Iowa State linebackers Klein and Jake Knott and Texas' Alex Okafor also made the first team.