With senior defensive tackle Will Geary landing on both lists, four Kansas State football players were named to the watch lists presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on Thursday.
Geary was named to watch lists for both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy – presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player – and Outland Trophy – presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman. He was joined on the Nagurski Trophy list by defensive end Reggie Walker and defensive back D.J. Reed, while offensive lineman Dalton Risner was also named to the Outland Trophy watch list.
It marks the second-straight year at least three Wildcat defenders are candidates for the Nagurski Trophy, while Geary is a candidate for the Outland Trophy for a second-straight season. He was one of 19 defensive tackles up for the Nagurski Trophy and one of 21 up for the Outland Trophy. Reed is earning his second defensive player of the year designation this week after being listed by the Bednarik Award on Monday.
A product of Topeka, Kansas, Geary is the first K-State defensive tackle in school history to earn two-straight First Team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press as he did so in 2015 and 2016. He started all 13 games last year, ranking ninth on the team with 45 tackles, while he was third with 7.0 tackles for loss. He ended the regular season on a high note with a career-high 3.5 TFLs and a season-best seven tackles at TCU.
Walker, the 2016 Defensive Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American by the FWAA, led all Big 12 freshmen with 11.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks, the latter ranking fourth nationally among freshmen.
The 2016 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-Big 12 honoree, Reed tied for second on the team with 75 tackles a year ago, while he led the Big 12 and ranked fifth nationally with 19 passes defended.
Risner picked up First Team All-Big 12 honors as a tackle in 2016 despite moving from center just prior to the season. He was a major part of K-State’s run-blocking unit that that paved the way for a school record 5.27-yard per carry average and ranked in the top 10 in three other categories. Earlier this week, Risner was named a candidate for the America Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, honoring players who display dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.
Walker, Reed and Risner were also named Preseason All-Big 12 picks by the league’s media on Wednesday.
Risner and Reed, along with other team captains Jesse Ertz, Trent Tanking and Dayton Valentine in addition to head coach Bill Snyder, will represent K-State at 2017 Big 12 Football Media Days next Tuesday at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Fans can follow media day coverage on K-State Football’s official Twitter handle, @KStateFB, and the Big 12 website, www.big12sports.com. The two-day event will also be televised live from 9 a.m., to 1 p.m., on FS2 and various FOX Sports Regional Networks, including FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports Kansas City.
K-State opens its seven-game home schedule and 2017 season slate on Saturday, September 2, against Central Arkansas, a game that serves as the ninth-annual K-State Family Reunion. As K-State draws nearer to running its consecutive sellout streak to 40 games, tickets can be purchased through the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or at the main ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum.
Wildcats on National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) Watch Lists
Jesse Ertz (QB) – Maxwell Award
Will Geary (DT) – Bronko Nagurski Trophy; Outland Trophy
Reid Najvar (OL) – Rimington Trophy
D.J. Reed (DB) – Bednarik Award; Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Dalton Risner (OL) – Outland Trophy
Dayton Valentine (TE) – Mackey Award
Reggie Walker (DE) – Bronko Nagurski Trophy