MANHATTAN, Kan. – Led by Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Felix Anudike-Uzomah – who was also named the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year – and Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year Cooper Beebe, a total of 17 Kansas State football players picked up postseason honors, as the Big 12 announced the 2022 Coaches’ All-Big 12 selections on Wednesday.
Anudike-Uzomah is the seventh player in school history to be named the conference defensive player of the year and the first since Jordan Willis – who was also the defensive lineman of the year – in 2016. It was the second-straight season that Anudike-Uzomah was named the conference’s top defensive lineman, the first ever two-time winner since the Big 12 began handing out the award in 2006.
Beebe is K-State’s first offensive lineman of the year since Dalton Risner in 2018 and the third since the Big 12 established the award in 2006 (B.J. Finney, 2014).
With the honors by Anudike-Uzomah and Beebe, the Wildcats rank second in Big 12 history with 37 individual awards. Oklahoma is first with 48 and Texas is third with 32.
Joining Anudike-Uzomah and Beebe on the first team were tight end Ben Sinnott and cornerback Julius Brents. K-State’s second-team selections included running back Deuce Vaughn, wide receiver Malik Knowles, punt returner Phillip Brooks, safety Kobe Savage and punter Ty Zentner.
The Wildcats had seven players named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in cornerback Ekow Boye-Doe, offensive linemen Hayden Gillum and KT Leveston, linebackers Daniel Green and Austin Moore, nose guard Eli Huggins and quarterback Adrian Martinez. Additionally, Martinez earned votes for Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, Brooks for Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year, Savage for Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, Vaughn for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and running back DJ Giddens for Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
The only Big 12 defender to be a unanimous first-team selection, Anudike-Uzomah has a team-leading 7.5 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss among his 39 tackles this season as 25.6% of his stops have been for lost yardage despite being the recipient of consistent double-team blocking. He has tallied at least a half TFL in eight of 12 games and at least a half sack in six contests. A product of Kansas City, Missouri, Anudike-Uzomah tallied 3.0 sacks against Texas Tech to tie for fourth in a game in school history. He has 19.5 career sacks to rank 10th in school history, while his eight career forced fumbles are tied for fourth and one shy of the school record.
Beebe, a native of Kansas City, Kansas, has started each of the last 30 games, including all 12 contests this season at left guard. He has not surrendered a sack among his 358 pass blocking snaps this year and is currently riding a 27-game streak without allowing a sack dating back to his redshirt freshman campaign of 2020. Beebe earned All-Big 12 First Team honors for a second-straight year, the first Wildcat offensive lineman to do so since Risner was a three-time All-Big 12 First Team performer from 2016 to 2018.
A former walk-on from Waterloo, Iowa, Sinnott has emerged as one of the top receiving threats from his tight end/fullback position, hauling in 15 catches for 254 yards and three touchdowns over the last five games. He had consecutive 80-yard performances against Baylor and West Virginia, including a career high 89-yard, two-touchdown effort in K-State’s 31-3 win over the Bears. His two touchdowns were the most by a K-State tight end since 1996. He enters this week’s Big 12 Championship ranked 10th in school history in single-season receiving yards by a tight end with 382 yards.
Brents, a product of Indianapolis, Indiana and former transfer from Iowa, has three interceptions this year to tie for fifth in the Big 12 and tops on the team. Showing more physicality this season, Brents has 40 tackles and a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss, while his six total passes defended are also a career best. He totaled a career-high nine tackles at Oklahoma and a career-best 1.5 tackles for loss at TCU.
Kansas State, which was ranked 10th in the penultimate College Football Playoff Top 25 on Tuesday evening, takes on No. 3 TCU in the 2022 Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship on Saturday. The game, which will be the backdrop for ESPN’s College Gameday beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, kicks off at 11 a.m. from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game will be shown on ABC with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Holly Rowe on the call.
Coaches’ All-Big 12 Teams (Kansas State)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Felix Anudike-Uzomah.
Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year: Cooper Beebe.
Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year: Felix Anudike-Uzomah.
First Team: Ben Sinnott (FB), Cooper Beebe (OL), Felix Anudike-Uzomah (DL), Julius Brents (DB).
Second Team: Deuce Vaughn (RB), Malik Knowles (WR), Phillip Brooks (KR/PR), Kobe Savage (DB), Ty Zentner (P).
Honorable Mention: Ekow Boye-Doe (DB), Phillip Brooks (Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year), DJ Giddens (Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year), Hayden Gillum (OL), Daniel Green (LB), Eli Huggins (DL), KT Leveston (OL), Adrian Martinez (QB, Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year), Austin Moore (LB), Kobe Savage (Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year), Deuce Vaughn (Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year).