The seal appears to be officially broken, which hopefully means a few more commits before the June contact period ends. It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to pick up their second commit this week, as Brayden Loftin, a 6’5 207lb tight end from Council Bluffs, IA, announced he was committing to Chris Klieman and Kansas State. Loftin does not currently have a star rating on 247 or Rivals, but held offers from Coastal Carolina, Air Force, Army, and Buffalo, plus Harvard and Yale (who don’t technically offer scholarships to athletes). The Iowa native is just the second out-of-state commit, out of six total now, for the Wildcats so far in the 2022 class.
Staying with football, junior Phillip Brooks and sophomore Deuce Vaughn have been named Preseason All-Americans by Phil Steele, with Brooks earning a second-team nod as a punt returner, and Vaughn on the third-team as an “all-purpose” player. Brooks was also First Team Preseason All-Big 12, with Vaughn on the second-team as a running back. They were joined on the All-Big 12 lists by second-teamer Josh Rivas, third-teamers Cooper Beebe and Randen Plattner (the long snapper), and fourth-teamers Malik Knowles, Noah Johnson, Khalid Duke, Cody Fletcher, Justin Gardner, Jahron McPherson, Ty Zentner, and incoming transfer Timmy Horne.
Speaking of preseason team selections, 2020 freshman phenom Aliyah Carter was named as a unanimous selection to the 2021 All-Big 12 Preseason Team. Carter earned 2020 Big 12 and AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year honors after her stellar performance last season, as well as All-Big 12 First Team honors. Carter led the Wildcats’ offense with 325 kills and 353.5 points. She eclipsed the 20-kill mark six times in her freshman season, setting the program’s single-match freshman record with 27 kills in a five-set match against Texas State on March 4. Those performances garnered Carter the Big 12 Rookie of the Week award on five occasions while being named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week once, and her six weekly accolades are a new single-season record for a Wildcat during the Big 12 era.
Just announced this morning, the match-ups for the Big 12/SEC Challenge are set for the upcoming season, and the WeberCats will be headed to Oxford, MS to take on Ole Miss on January 29th, 2022. This will be the third time the Wildcats and the Fighting Ackbars will face off in the Challenge, but the first time in Oxford as they played in Manhattan in 2013 (13-14 season) and in 2016 (15-16 season).