Second-year Wildcats are up for the award that honors the nation’s top defensive player
July 9, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown and defensive back Nigel Malone were named to the watch list for the 2012 Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Brown was a semifinalist for the award last season, while Malone is in contention for the award for the first time in his career. It is the third and fourth time a Wildcat has been up for the Bednarik Award as defensive back Chris Canty was a finalist in 1996.
A product of Wichita, Kan., Brown led the Wildcats with 101 tackles in 2011 to become the first K-State defender to reach the 100-tackle plateau in five seasons. A former transfer from the University of Miami, Brown registered 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception against No. 15 Baylor, which was the only second-half interception off Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III last year and led to the eventual game-winning field goal.
Brown earned honorable mention All-America honors as a junior from Sports Illustrated, while he was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year by the league’s coaches, Associated Press, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and ESPN.com. Brown was also on the watch lists for the 2011 Bronco Nagurski and Butkus Awards.
A former community-college transfer, Malone was stellar during his first season in Manhattan as he led the Big 12 and tied for third nationally with seven interceptions, a mark that ranked second in school history and fifth in conference history. The Manteca, Calif., product was one of only four players nationally to record two or more picks in multiple games as he came away with a pair of interceptions against both Eastern Kentucky and Oklahoma. He finished his junior campaign fifth on the team with 58 tackles.
Malone was a semifinalist for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award and was a Second Team Walter Camp All-American to go along with First Team All-Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches, ESPN.com and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Semifinalists for the 2012 Bednarik Award will be announced on October 29, while three finalists will be selected on November 19. The winner of the 18th annual Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on December 6.
K-State opens the 2012 season September 1 with the fourth annual K-State Family Reunion against Missouri State. Tickets for the opener remain available for as little as $15, while a four-pack can also be purchased by August 1 for $75. Tickets for the highly-anticipated matchup with Miami on September 8 are also going fast but remain available for $75 (bench) and $85 (premium bench). For more information regarding season or single-game tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.k-statesports.com.