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KSU, KU players on national lists

By Kellis Robinett

McClatchy-Tribune

MANHATTAN -- Three more Kansas State football players and one University of Kansas player were named to watch lists for national awards Thursday.

This time, Wildcat offensive linemen B.J. Finney and Cody Whitehair and defensive end Ryan Mueller were nominated for separate awards by the Football Writers Association of America.

Finney and Whitehair were named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, presented annually to the nation's top interior lineman. Mueller is a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually to the nation's best defensive player.

It marks the second-consecutive season in which Finney is a candidate for the Outland Trophy. He was also named to the watch list for the Rimington Award, given annually to the nation's top center, on Tuesday. K-State is one of four teams to place multiple linemen on the Outland Trophy watch list.

Mueller is a first-time candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, but the nomination is his third preseason honor. He is also a candidate for the Bednarik Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

Other K-State players that have made preseason watch lists include: kicker Jack Cantele, receiver Tyler Lockett and quarterback Jake Waters.

Kansas senior linebacker Ben Heeney appeared Monday on the preliminary watch list for the 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced. Heeney was one of 76 players on the watch list for the Bednarik Award, given to the college defensive player of the year since 1995.

Heeney, a Hutchinson native, had 88 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss, and three interceptions during his junior season. He racked up 112 tackles as a sophomore in 2012.