K-State lineman wins Big-12 male sportsperson of the year

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- An offensive lineman for Kansas State is being recognized for his sportsmanship, community service, and academic achievement.

On Tuesday, K-State announced Dalton Risner was named the 2017-18 Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year. He's the third Wildcat to win the honor, following women's basketball player Kim Woodlee, who won in the first year the award was given (2000-01), and women's golfer Whitney Pyle, who took home the honor in 2012-13.

K-State calls Risner one of the best returning linemen in the country. He was named a First Team All-American by Pro Football Focus and made the second team for CBSSports.com. A two-time team captain, he helped anchor a line that helped last year's team post the third-highest rushing yards per carry (4.98 - tie) in school history. The team's 2,584 total rushing yards was seventh best by a Wildcat team.

Since coming to Manhattan, the Wiggins, Colorado-native has been active in the community as well. According to Kansas State, he founded the RiseUp Foundation to "encourage everyone to RISE above the evil and sin in this world and be a positive shining light in the lives of others."

He goes to Buttonwood Special Needs Home every week and has formed a bond with one member, Mike, with whom we goes to the movies or goes bowling or just hangs out. He's been a Big Brother to Kaden, a child who is battling leukemia.

The University also points out how he takes the time to send notes and football memorabilia to people going through tough times. In one case, Risner found out about a kid in Arizona named Wyatt, who's nearly deaf and had been getting bullied. Not only did Risner send him a message and autographed items, he invited Wyatt to one of K-State's practices in Arizona, while the team was getting ready for the Cactus Bowl.

And, that's just the stuff he does on his own time. He also participates in the team's initiatives, including Special Olympics, Senior Kats, Cats in the Classroom, Cats 4 Cans, and Adopt-a-Family.