Eight Wildcats receive NCFAA football watch list awards

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Eight K-State football players were named to the National College Football Awards Association watch list for 11 different awards presented by the Football Writers Association of America last week.

Junior tight end Dayton Valentine was put on the John Mackey Award watch list July 11. Valentine started in all 13 games during the 2016 season and was a First Team Academic All-Big 12. Valentine will be a team captain for the 2017-2018 season.

Senior center Reid Najvar was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list July 11 after being placed on the award’s spring watch list in May. Najvar is the eighth player to be added to the list for the Rimington Trophy in the university’s history, and the seventh since 2010.

Both Valentine and Najvar were Honorable Mention All-Big 12 picks by the league’s coaches, and both players helped lead the Wildcats to a 9-4 record and a victory in the Texas Bowl.

Four more K-State players were named to the NCFAA watch list July 13.

Senior defensive tackle Will Geary was named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list and the Outland Trophy watch list. Geary is currently ranked ninth in school history for tackles.

Sophomore defensive end Reggie Walker, the 2016 Defensive Freshman of the Year, and junior defensive back D.J. Reed, the 2016 Newcomer of the Year, also join Geary on the Nagurski Trophy watch list. Reed is also a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Junior tight end Dalton Risner was also added to the Outland Trophy watch list. Additionally, Risner was named a candidate for the America Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, and earned a spot on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list.

Walker, Reed and Risner were all named as Preseason All-Big 12 picks by league media June 12.

Added to the Paul Hornung Award watch list is junior wide receiver/ kick returner Byron Pringle. Pringle is the first Wildcat to be placed on this watch list since Tyler Lockett in 2014.

Senior quarterback Jesse Ertz also earned a spot on the Maxwell Award watch list this past week. Ertz started in all 13 games and threw for 1,755 yards in the 2016 season.

The Wildcats will kick off the 2017-2018 season at home against the University of Central Arkansas Sept. 2.

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