Kick returner Tyler Lockett was named to the preseason team for the second-straight season, while running back John Hubert, offensive lineman Cornelius Lucas, defensive back Ty Zimmerman and punt returner Tramaine Thompson were first-time honorees. The five Wildcats on the Preseason All-Big 12 squad are the most by K-State since at least 2002.
A product of Tulsa, Okla., Lockett finished the 2012 season ranked third nationally with a 32.3-yard kickoff return average and a pair of touchdowns. His career average of 33.8 yards is tops among active players, while he ranks second in both Big 12 and Kansas State history with four career kickoff-return touchdowns.
Hubert, who is also a preseason candidate for the Maxwell Award, ranked fourth in the Big 12 in rushing at 72.8 yard per game last season, while he was third in rushing touchdowns with 15. A two-year starter at running back, the Waco, Texas, product earned All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2012 from the league’s coaches and enters his senior campaign just 15 yards shy of K-State’s career top-10 for rushing yardage.
Lucas, a senior from New Orleans, La., had a breakout season in 2012 when he started all 13 games at left tackle en route to All-Big 12 First Team honors from the league’s coaches and second-team accolades from the Associated Press.
A preseason candidate for the Bednarik and Thorpe awards as well as the Nagurski and Lott IMPACT trophies, Zimmerman has turned into one of the most dominant defensive backs in the Big 12. An All-Big 12 performer each of his first three seasons, Zimmerman also earned All-America accolades following the 2012 season in which he registered 50 tackles and picked off five passes. The Junction City, Kan., native enters his senior campaign in a tie for seventh place in interceptions with 10, while his 146 career interception return yards rank eighth.
Thompson led the nation a year ago with a 19.75-yard punt return average, over three yards per return better than the player in second. He opened the 2012 campaign with a 89-yard punt return touchdown against Missouri State, the longest by a Wildcat in five seasons and the fourth-longest nationally last year.
Kansas State will take part in the 2013 Big 12 Football Media Days on Monday, July 22, at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas. Representing K-State along with head coach Bill Snyder will be Lockett, Zimmerman, center B.J. Finney and linebacker Tre Walker. Complete media day coverage will be available at both www.k-statesports.com and www.big12sports.com.
K-State opens its doors to the new West Stadium Center and kicks off the 2013 season by welcoming two-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State in a special Friday-night contest on August 30. The contest is slated for a7:30 p.m., kickoff and will be televised by nationally by FOX Sports 1.
Season tickets for the upcoming season in addition to single-game tickets for the 2013 opener and the Iowa State contest on November 2 are sold out. Only scattered singles remain for the other six home games, and fans can purchase those tickets to online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or in person at the K-State Athletics ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum.