MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State senior Deon Murphy was named a preseason first team All-American at punt returner by Phil Steele’s 2008 College Football Preview and was one of six Big 12 players on the publication’s first team.
A senior from Houston, Texas, Murphy was named the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year last season by the coaches and led the Big 12 and was second nationally in punt returns in 2007 with a 17.5 average. He led the team with six punt returns of 25 or more yards, three of which went for 55-plus yards.
The transfer from Coffeyville College also was second on the team in receiving with 57 catches and five touchdowns and was 12th in the Big 12 in receptions per game in league contests at 4.62. Murphy totaled eight touchdowns this past season, five receiving, two rushing and one via a punt return for a score.
The publication also announced its preseason All-Big 12 selections as Ian Campbell was named to the first team as a defensive end, along with Murphy as the punt return specialist.
Campbell, a two-time All-Big 12 selection, enters his senior season as one of the top defensive linemen in school history and currently has 16.0 sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. The Cimarron, Kan., native tied the single-season school record with 11.5 sacks in 2006 and currently needs just two more sacks to enter the school’s top 10 career list.
Junior Olu Hall, who will make his Wildcat debut on August 30 in the season opener, was tabbed a third team selection at linebacker by the publication, while senior place kicker and 2007 Lou Groza candidate Brooks Rossman was also a third team pick. Murphy was again honored by the magazine on the third team, this time as a wide receiver.
Junior tight end Jeron Mastrud rounded out the selections for the Wildcats as he was an honorable mention selection.