Kansas State placed a total of 15 student-athletes on the 2007 All-Big 12 football teams, conference officials announced Tuesday. Selections were made by the Big 12 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
Senior wide receiver Jordy Nelson, senior punter Tim Reyer and junior defensive end Ian Campbell were all named to the first team, while junior Deon Murphy earned Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors and junior safety Gary Chandler was named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
Reyer's selection at punter was the lone unanimous pick of the entire squad, while Campbell's first team honor was his second in as many seasons. Nelson and Murphy also earned honorable mention honors as a punt/kick returner.
Defensive back Justin McKinney was named to the second team, while nine other Wildcats also received honorable mention consideration, including junior offensive lineman Alesana Alesana, sophomore defensive back Chris Carney, sophomore quarterback Josh Freeman, senior defensive end Rob Jackson, senior running back James Johnson, junior wide receiver Deon Murphy, senior fullback/tight end Michael Pooschke, senior offensive lineman Logan Robinson, junior kicker Brooks Rossman and junior linebacker Reggie Walker.
Nelson, an All-American candidate and Biletnikoff Award finalist, had one of the most impressive seasons in school history as he will leave the program holding 11 different receiving records. The Riley, Kan., native finished the year with 122 catches for 1,606 yards, both school records, and 11 touchdowns, while recording 10 or more catches in six games and surpassing 100 yards receiving eight times, again both school record marks. He currently ranks second nationally in catches per game, receiving yards per game and total receiving yards.
Reyer, a Wamego, Kan., product and Ray Guy Award semi-finalist, averaged 44.5 yards a punt this season, which ranks second in school history, had 22 kicks downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line and also collected 15 punts of 50-plus yards on the season. Reyer and the Wildcats currently rank first in the Big 12 and eighth nationally in net punting with a 38.9-yard average.
McKinney, a senior from Sanford, Fla., was Kansas State's leading tackler this season with 74 tackles and also had three interceptions, nine pass breakups, one forced fumble and blocked one punt.
Murphy and Chandler became the first pair of Wildcats to garner Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors on both sides of the ball in the same season since 1997 when Michael Bishop (offensive) and Jeff Kelly (Defensive) took home honors.
A junior from Houston, Texas, and transfer from Coffeyville College, Murphy led the Big 12 and was second nationally in punt returns this season with his 17.5 average. He also was second on the team in receiving with 57 catches and five touchdowns and is 12th in the Big 12 in receptions per game in league contests at 4.62. Murphy totaled eight touchdowns this season, five receiving, two rushing and one via a punt return for a score.
Chandler, a transfer from Coffeyville College and a native of Wichita, made an immediate impact in the Wildcat secondary this season, finishing the season with 54 tackles, 4.5 for losses, and two breakups on the season. Chandler closed out the regular season with a career-high 14 tackles at Fresno State.
Kansas State All-Big 12 Selections
Jordy Nelson, WR
Ian Campbell, DL
Tim Reyer, P
Justin McKinney, DB
Alesana Alesana, OL
Chris Carney, DB
Josh Freeman, QB
Rob Jackson, DL
James Johnson, RB
Deon Murphy, WR
Deon Murphy KR/PR
Jordy Nelson KR/PR
Michael Pooschke FB/TE
Reggie Walker, LB
OFFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Deon Murphy, WR
DEFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Gary Chandler, DB