Three Wildcat athletes awarded preseason honors ahead of 2021 seasons

Freshmen running back Deuce Vaughn outruns Texas Tech defender for a touchdown in the first half. The Wildcats beat the Red Raiders 31-21 on Fort Riley Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (Archive photo by Dalton Wainscott | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State wide receiver Phillip Brooks and running back Deuce Vaughn were named Preseason All-Americans by Phil Steele, while K-State volleyball outside hitter Aliyah Carter was named to the unanimous All-Big 12 Preseason Team.

Brooks, a junior out of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, was named a second-team punt returner after putting up incredible numbers during the 2020 season. After receiving Third Team All-American honors from Phil Steele before the 2020 season, Brooks averaged 23.7 yards per punt return attempt as a sophomore.

This average would have led the nation and been the best in school history had Brooks had one more punt return on the season to meet the NCAA required minimum. Brooks had a standout game against in-state rival Kansas, where Brooks tallied 189 punt-return yards and two touchdowns, earning Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Vaughn, a sophomore from Round Rock, Texas, was named to the third team as an all-purpose player.

Vaughn blew the Little Apple away with his performances last year as a true freshman, finishing the season by leading the Wildcats in rushing yards (642), receiving yards (434) and all-purpose yards (1,221). These numbers earned Vaughn the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year title as well as an Honorable Mention All-American by Phil Steele and True Freshman of the Year by 247Sports.

Vaughn broke three K-State freshman records this past season, setting a new mark for rushing yards, yards from scrimmage (1,076) and all-purpose yards.

Carter, a sophomore out of Dubuque, Iowa, was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 Preseason Team.

One of eight unanimous picks to the team, Carter set many freshman records for the Volleycats, including kills per set (4.11), points per set (4.47) and the single-match kill record with 27 in a five-set match against Texas State.

For her outstanding performances during the season, Carter was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week five separate times, Big 12 Freshman of the Year and 2020 AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year.