Two more Wildcats picked up preseason honors this morning when B.J. Finney and Cody Whitehair were announced as part of the watch list for the Football Writer's Association of America Outland Trophy. Finney and Whitehair join Tyler Lockett, Jake Waters, Ryan Mueller and Jack Cantele as K-Staters with preseason honors in 2014. The Outland Trophy list is dominated by the SEC, which has 19 representatives. The Pac 12 has 11 while the Big 12, ACC and Big 10 all tie with nine a piece. Kansas State is the only Big 12 school with multiple representatives.
The Outland Trophy is presented annually to the best college football offensive or defensive interior lineman. Aaron Donald of Pittsburgh won the award in 2013. No Wildcat has ever won the award or even been named a finalist. The last winner from the Big 12 was Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009. The last winner from a current Big 12 member was in 2004 when Jammal Brown of Oklahoma brought home the honor.
The three finalists for the award will be named on Nov. 24 with the winner announced on Dec. 11. The trophy presentation banquet will be held on Jan. 15, 2015, in Omaha, Neb.
In addition to the Outland Trophy announcement, the Football Writer's Association of America also announced the watch list for the the Bronko Nagurski award, with Ryan Mueller making the cut. This marks the third preseason watch list mention for Mueller, who is also in the the running for the Bednarik Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Mueller is a first-time candidate for the trophy and becomes the fourth Wildcat to garner candidacy for the award in the past six years.
Despite the repeated mentions on the watch list, no Wildcat has ever taken home the Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's top defensive player. Five finalists for the award will be named on Nov. 20, with the award being presented at a banquet in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 8.