MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State senior quarterback Skylar Thompson and sophomore running back Deuce Vaughn have been named to the watch list for the 2021 Maxwell Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Thompson was named to the watch list for a second-straight season. It marked the first time the Wildcats had two members on the Maxwell Award watch list since quarterback Jake Waters and wide receiver Tyler Lockett were on the initial watch list in 2014.
A career 30-game starter, Thompson enters his second senior season ranked in the top 10 in school history of 15 career categories, including the top mark in interception percentage (1.84), ranking third in yards per completion (12.87), fifth in completions (390), passing efficiency (136.01), rushing yards (1,083) and rushing touchdowns (22) by a quarterback, and seventh in passing yards (5,201) and passing touchdowns (30). The Independence, Missouri, native is just the second player in school history to throw for 5,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards, while he can be the first to hit the 6,000/1,000 mark this season.
In an injury-shortened 2020 campaign, Thompson threw for 626 yards and accounted for seven touchdowns in three games, including four total scores in K-State’s 21-point comeback win at No. 3 Oklahoma to secure the Wildcats’ first ever road win over a top-five team.
Bursting onto the scene as a true freshman in 2020, Vaughn led K-State in both rushing (642 yards) and receiving (434 yards) as he was one of just three players in the nation last season with at least 600 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards, joining Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Alabama’s Najee Harris.
Vaughn was named the True Freshman of the Year by 247Sports, a Freshman All-American by The Athletic and Football Writers Association of America, and an Honorable Mention All-American by Phil Steele and Pro Football Focus. The 2020 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Vaughn was the first Wildcat true freshman in the Big 12 era (since 1996) to earn First or Second Team All-Big 12 honors on offense.
Kansas State opens the 2021 campaign on September 4 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in the Allstate Kickoff Classic against Stanford. The game will kick off at 11 a.m., and will be televised by FS1. Fans can purchase tickets to the game – in addition to season and single-game tickets for the Wildcats’ seven-game home schedule – by visiting www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-221-CATS.