Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2012 Maxwell Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Klein was one of 65 players nationally and 11 from the Big 12 Conference named to the watch list for the award that recognizes America's most outstanding collegiate football player. The Wildcat signal caller is just the third player in school history up for the award and the first since 2004. Running back Darren Sproles was a preseason candidate that season, while quarterback Michael Bishop was a finalist in 1998.
A native of Loveland, Colo., Klein burst onto the college football scene last year as a junior when he led K-State to a 10-2 regular season record and a berth in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl. Considered by many the toughest player in college football, Klein rushed for a Big 12 and FBS quarterback record 27 touchdowns last season en route to All-America accolades. He amassed 1,141 rushing yards to rank seventh in school history and first among quarterbacks, while he led the Big 12 with 317 rushing attempts, 67 more than the player in second place.
Klein was also efficient in the passing game during the 2011 season as he threw for 1,918 yards and 13 touchdowns on 161-of-281 aim with just six interceptions.
Aside from his All-America honors from Sports Illustrated, Klein was also named a First Team All-Big 12 performer by the Associated Press, ESPN.com, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and San Antonio Express-News, while he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades from the league's coaches and also received votes for the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Award.
A list of semifinalists for the 76th annual Maxwell Award will be announced on October 29, while the Maxwell Football Club will unveil its three semifinalists for the award on November 19. The winner of the 2012 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on December 6.