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July 12, 2012Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown and defensive back Nigel Malone both earned their second preseason honor of the week on Thursday as they were named to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list for the nation's most outstanding defensive player, the Charlotte Touchdown Club and Football Writers Association of America announced.
Brown and Malone were named to the Bednarik Award watch list on Monday and join Collin Klein (Maxwell Award) and B.J. Finney (Rimington Trophy) as Wildcats to earn preseason honors this week.
Brown is a candidate for the Nagurski Trophy for a second-straight season, while Malone is a first-time contender for the award. They were joined by 82 other players nationally and 11 others from the Big 12 recognized as a preseason candidate in 2012. The designations mark the ninth and 10th times a Wildcat has been in the running for the award as defensive back Chris Canty was a finalist in 1995 and 1996, Jeff Kelly was the 1998 runner-up, defensive back Terence Newman was a finalist in 2002, and linebacker Brandon Archer (2006) and defensive end Ian Campbell (2007 and 2008) were preseason candidates.
In his first season in Manhattan after transferring from the University of Miami, Brown led the K-State defense with 101 tackles, the first Wildcat to record 100 or more tackles since Archer in 2006. Brown, who also had 9.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, earned honorable mention All-America honors from Sports Illustrated and was named the 2011 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year by the league's coaches. The linebacker garnered First Team All-Big 12 honors from the league's coaches, Associated Press, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Rivals.com.
Malone also shined during his first season at K-State after transferring from City College of San Francisco. In 2011, the Manteca, Calif., product led the Big 12 and ranked third nationally with seven interceptions, a mark that was second in K-State history and tied for fifth in conference history. Malone, who totaled 16 passes defended, earned Second Team Walter Camp and Third Team Associated Press All-America honors along with First Team All-Big 12 accolades from the league's coaches, ESPN.com and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be announced on November 15. The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on December 3, at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.