KLEIN A DEFINITE HEISMAN CANDIDATE

MANHATTAN, Kan. - If not before last week's game at West Virginia, certainly now Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is in all the discussions as a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. All he did last week was account for a school record seven touchdowns in a single game in posting his third win of the year against a ranked school.

If the Heisman Trophy went to the most versatile individual demonstrating the highest character traits, there would be no need to send the ballots out.

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein would be the man.

Afterall, he's a package of the two highest-profile positions that the Heisman normally goes to as a running back playing the quarterback position.

And, what other footballer has played "Rag Time" on the piano for ESPN's GameDay, and, sang the Doxology on the Dan Patrick television/radio show.

Recently, more diversity heroics came to light as teammates shared how he's been known to two-hand slam-dunk in winter-time pickup basketball games. Remember, Klein was a higher profile basketball recruit out of Loveland, Colo, rather than football!

And, it was last week that Klein pulled off a General Patton quote when quizzed about trying to avoid all the football collisions that he took last year, even it means sacrificing a couple yards to step out of bounds.

Quoting Patton, Klein said with a chuckle, "You don't win wars by dying for your country. You have to be kind of smart about that (avoiding unnecessary hits.)"

The quip came during a Tuesday press conference where Klein addressed 40 to 50 members of the press for over 20 minutes with the same patience that he uses in running the option offense.

If there was a hint of a Heisman-type question, with grace, Klein dodged such a thought like it was a charging linebacker.

"My main focus is for the team to be successful. Whatever my piece of that puzzle looks like, I'll be happy with," said Klein. "As a team we want to prepare to play the best game we can play. If we do that well, it will be another step on the journey."

Klein's comment came as no surprise to his coach, Bill Snyder: "That's (Heisman talk) something that can get you off track in your preparation for a football game. Collin is only concerned with that he can do to help this football team.

"You always look for signs of not handling things right, but he handles things quite well," said Snyder. "You can't say enough for the way he's handled the successes he's had."

On being the musician that he is, the athlete that he is, and the family man/husband that he is, Snyder added, "He's able to organize so many things that he does in life. He focuses on football, he sets aside time for family, and he sets aside time for academics, but he's never in a rush. He has a deep sense of value and purpose."

THE RULES:
The Heisman Trophy annually goes to the "most outstanding collegiate football player."

There are no other ground rules other than that. Nothing is said about being on the highest ranked team, nothing is said about quarterbacks having preference, nothing is said about character, nothing is said about best statistics, and nothing is said about being most valuable to his team.

It's simply "most outstanding collegiate football player," with ballots sent out to 870 media-types from the six regions in the nation, plus 55 former Heisman Trophy winners.

Each voter votes for his top three individuals. Fans also vote for the award through a survey collected by ESPN.com that counts as one total vote for the award.


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