MANHATTAN, Kan. Sophomore defensive end Ian Campbell headlined a group of three Wildcats named to the Houston Chronicle's 2006 All-Big 12 football teams Tuesday as he was tabbed the league's Defensive Player of the Year.
Linebacker Brandon Archer also garnered first team honors by the publication, while punt returner Yamon Figurs was named to the second team.
Campbell, a former walk-on who has blossomed into one of the nation’s top rush ends, consistently ranked among the country’s leaders in both sacks and tackles for losses during 2006.
The Big 12’s top tackler among defensive lineman with 60 stops, Campbell tied the K-State single-season record for sacks with 11.5 on the year and heads into the bowl season ranked fifth nationally in that category. He also led the Big 12 in tackles for losses with 16.5, a figure that ranks 19th in the country.
Archer, K-State’s leading tackler for the third straight season, picked up his third consecutive second team all-league designation from the Star after ranking sixth in the Big 12 during the regular season with a career single-season best 97 tackles.
A consistent big-play threat throughout the year, seven of Archer’s tackles came behind the opposition’s line of scrimmage, including 2.5 sacks. He also broke up four passes and recovered a pair of fumbles.
Figurs, who was selected to the second team as a return specialist, finished the season ranked second in the Big 12 and 16th nationally in punt returns after averaging 12.2 yards on 20 attempts.
On the year, he recorded an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in the season opener vs. Illinois State, a pair of 16-yard returns against Baylor and Oklahoma State and a 20-yard return against Missouri. However, his most memorable return may have come against Texas, when he scooted 52 yards to set up a first-and-goal for the Wildcats at the Longhorns’ 8-yard-line during the second quarter.