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July 19, 2007Kansas State defensive standouts Ian Campbell and Marcus Watts have been named to the 2007 Preseason All-Big 12 team, according to the results of the annual preseason media survey conducted by the conference office.
Campbell, a preseason All-America and national award candidate, is coming off an incredible sophomore campaign and is one of just four returning players nationally to record at least 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for losses in 2006.
Last season, Campbell was among the nation's top pass rushers and earned All-Big 12 and All-American honors after totaling 67 tackles, 17.5 for losses, with 11.5 sacks. His 11.5 sacks tied the Kansas State single-season record and ranked second in the Big 12 Conference and 10th nationally. Campbell, a Cimarron native, collected at least one sack in nine of 13 total games last season.
Watts, a 2006 All-Big 12 performer, played in the first eight games at safety last season, starting four, before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season. The ESPN All-Mayday selection still managed to have enough of an impact to earn second team All-Big 12 honors from both the league's coaches and the Kansas City Star after finishing the season with 26 tackles, including three tackles for losses and two sacks. The Hays native led the Wildcats with three interceptions, forced two fumbles and blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown.
In the preseason specialty awards, Colt McCoy (Texas) was named Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Reggie Smith (Oklahoma) was selected Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and Sam Keller (Nebraska) was chosen Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Kansas State will participate in the annual Big 12 Football Media Days on Wednesday, July 25, in San Antonio, Texas, before opening the 2007 season Sept. 1 in a nationally-televised contest at Auburn.
Offensive Player of the Year: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
Defensive Player of the Year: Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma
Newcomer of the Year: Sam Keller, QB, Nebraska