MANHATTAN, Kan. – As the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) continues to announce its awards watch lists, Kansas State had two more honors on Thursday with senior quarterback Will Howard landing on the initial list for the Wuerffel Trophy and senior wide receiver/kick returner Phillip Brooks being named a candidate for the Paul Hornung Award.
Howard is a candidate for the Wuerffel Trophy for a second-straight season as the top college football player who serves others, celebrates their positive impact on society and inspires greater service in the world. Brooks is a candidate for the Hornung Award for a second time (2021) as the award presented to the most versatile player in college football.
A product of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Howard’s mention on the Wuerffel Trophy list is the ninth-straight season a Wildcat has been up for the award since its inaugural season of 2015. Fellow quarterback Skylar Thompson was a candidate for the award in both 2020 and 2021, while Denzel Goolsby (2019), Dalton Risner (2017-18) and Dante Barnett (2015-16) were also up for the award. Risner was a finalist for the honor in 2018.
One of the main reasons he is being honored for his work off the field is his driving force behind K-State’s Get in the Game/Be the Match bone marrow registry drive each of the last two years, which has presented an opportunity for student and faculty on the K-State campus to be connected with a blood cancer patient in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. For his efforts with that program, Howard and K-State assistant head coach Van Malone earned the Get in the Game Impact Award presented by the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation.
Brooks’ inclusion on the Hornung Award watch list marks the third-straight season a Wildcat is represented and the eighth time since the award began in 2010. Past candidates include running back Daniel Thomas (2010) and wide receivers/kick returners Tyler Lockett (2013 and 2014), Tramaine Thompson (2013), Byron Pringle (2017) and Malik Knowles (2022).
A native of Lee’s Summitt, Missouri, Brooks is an accomplished punt returner in addition to being a mainstay at wide receiver throughout his career. Now in his sixth season, Brooks is one of only 12 players in Big 12 history and one of five in school history with 1,000 receiving yards and 600 punt return yards in a career. He enters his final campaign ranked second in school history in punt return touchdowns (4), fifth in both punt return average (14.6) and punt return yards (641), and eighth in punt return attempts (44). He is also tied for seventh in school history in career receptions (129), while he is 255 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns and 227 all-purpose yards shy of entering K-State’s career top-10 list in each category.
Kansas State is in its first week of 2023 preseason camp as the Wildcats’ first practice was held on Wednesday morning. It was the first of 16 practices during preseason camp prior to the first day of the fall semester on Monday, August 21. K-State opens the 2023 campaign by hosting SEMO in a 6 p.m. contest inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday, September 2.
Tickets to the seven-game home slate can be purchased online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by phone at 1-800-221-CATS.