Iowa State Earns Multiple All-Big 12 Honors
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State juniors A.J. Klein and Aaron Horne headlined the Cyclones honored by the Big 12 Conference Wednesday. Klein was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Horne was tabbed the Offensive Newcomer of the Year. The Big 12's coaches selected the All-Big 12 teams and awards.
Klein had 101 tackles and a pair of sacks in 2011. The junior returned an interception 78 yards for touchdown, his third career return for score. The Kimberly, Wis., native also notched a pair of sacks, five pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and 7.5 tackles for loss in 2011.
Horne averaged 11.7 yards per catch with a long of 57. The junior wide receiver took over kickoff and punt return duties in conference play and went on to average the most yards per kick return in league play. The Oakland, Calif., native recorded 33 receptions and had a key 33-yard rush for touchdown in the Cyclones' win over Kansas.
"We are thrilled that A.J. and Aaron have been singled out for their great seasons," Iowa State head football coach Paul Rhoads said. "To earn all-league honors in the Big 12 is one the highest praises you can receive in college football."
Senior Kelechi Osemele joined Klein on the All-Big 12 first team. The offensive lineman from Houston, Texas started all 12 games at left tackle for the Cyclones in 2011.
Seniors Hayworth Hicks and Leonard Johnson were joined by junior linebacker Jake Knott on the All-Big 12 second team. Hicks, an offensive lineman from Palmdale, Calif., started the final 11 games at right guard for the Cyclones. Johnson, a senior cornerback from Clearwater, Fla., notched 68 tackles, seven pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and had a key interception in the Cyclones' upset of No. 2 Oklahoma State. Knott, a linebacker from Waukee, Iowa, had a team-high 107 tackles for Iowa State in 2011 while registering two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Knott and Johnson received All-Big 12 second-team honors in 2010. Klein is the first Cyclone to earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Freshman quarterback Jared Barnett, senior defensive lineman Jake Lattimer, sophomore punter Kirby Van Der Kamp and sophomore running back James White received honorable mention accolades.