Courtesy: Kansas State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – One of the greatest wide receivers and return specialists in Kansas State history, Tyler Lockett was named the Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year on Monday, the conference office announced.
Lockett is the second Wildcat in the last three years to be tabbed the best among all male athletes in the conference, joining former Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein following the 2012-13 season.
A product of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lockett became the 10th Consensus All-American in school history in addition to winning the 2014 Johnny “Jet” Rodgers National College Football Return Specialist Award. As a senior, he led the nation in punt return average (19.1) and ranking third in total receiving yards (1,515), all-purpose yards (2,296) and punt returns for touchdowns (2) and seventh in receptions (106). He topped the Big 12 in receiving yards and all-purpose yards, bettering the player in second place by 26.6 yards per game in the latter category.
Lockett also led the conference in punt-return average, while finishing second in receptions per game and ninth in kickoff return average. Lockett had eight 100-yard receiving games to tie the school record, including finishing the season with a school-record five straight 100-yard games.
Lockett became Kansas State’s first four-year All-American following the 2014 season and is one of just three players in school history to earn four straight all-conference designations. Lockett, who tied the Big 12 record for kickoff-return average and ranks third in conference history in all-purpose yards and kickoff-return touchdowns, was a two-time Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year honoree, just the sixth player in league history to earn two conference player of the year awards on either offense, defense or special teams.
Lockett broke 17 school records, including career marks for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns that were previously held by his father, Kevin. A third round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks in May, Lockett left K-State with 249 career catches for 3,710 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also broke the school record for career 100-yard games with 17, seven more than the previous record held by current Green Bay Packer receiver Jordy Nelson.
In addition to his accolades on the field, Lockett was just as dynamic off the field as he was named the Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football and was an Academic All-Big 12 performer. He was a finalist for the Campbell Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award while also being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.
In addition to Lockett, Oklahoma softball infielder Lauren Chamberlain earned top female honors from the Big 12. Other male nominees were Trayvon Bromell (Baylor), Kyven Gadson (Iowa State), Michael Stigler (Kansas), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Michael Freeman (Oklahoma State), Preston Morrison (TCU), Will Licon (Texas), JaCorian Duffield (Texas Tech) and Juwan Staten (West Virginia).
Other female candidates included Nina Davis (Baylor), Christina Hillman (Iowa State), Chelsie Miller (Kansas), Akela Jones (K-State), Natalja Piliusina (Oklahoma State), Chelsea Prince (TCU), Haley Eckerman (Texas), Janine Beckie (Texas Tech) and Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia).
Nominees are submitted by each Big 12 institution and selected, based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship, by a media panel as well as fan voting conducted through the Big 12’s social media platforms.