As his younger brother Kyle says, “What you see in Collin is what he is.”
To the point, Kyle answers the question of whether his big bro’ is a better person or quarterback, “He’s darn good at both, but it means a little more to be a good person, so I would put the emphasis on person.
“I’m most impressed with his faith. It’s what I try to emulate,” said Kyle. “It’s unbelievable how much it means to him. It’s the most important thing in his life.”
With this being a glimpse of the total package of Collin Klein, it comes as no surprise that Tuesday he was honored as one of 22 members of the All-State Insurance “Good Works” team.
In a surprise ceremony at Manhattan’s Bergman Elementary School where Klein was speaking to 488 kindergarten through sixth graders, local All-State agent Brian Green made the presentation of the “Good Works Trophy.”
“Out of 117 nominations from across the country, we were looking for the individuals who stood out above and beyond in the world of college football,” said Green. “That’s not only in sports, but individuals who also made their community a better place to live. Collin is one of those people who make the community as good as it can be.”
In accepting the award, Klein said, “I’m blessed with the perspective of not expecting anything in return for what you do, so with that in mind, this is a very special honor.”
Hosted by principal Lori Martin, the purple and white Bergman Dolphins rolled out the purple carpet for Klein, who spoke to the kids who littered the gymnasium floor.
He echoed the words of Bill Snyder when he said, “It’s not always easy to do the right thing,” but added how important it is to be unselfish and caring about the people around you.
“Having respect for your teachers and your classmates is important,” Klein said. “Coach Snyder talks about sacrificing personally for the betterment of those you’re around. It’s not easy. It’s hard to do every single time, but it can be done through discipline and hard work.”
And, he focused on the area of hard work.
“You can’t turn that on and off. I can’t just work hard on the field and then turn it off when I go to school,” said Klein. “When you’re on that playground, play as hard as you can. But then be ready to study as hard as you can.”
Ironically, Klein’s message from K-State’s “16 Goals For Success” paralleled the Bergman “6 Pillars”: Trustworthy, Respect, Responsibility, Citizenship, Caring and Fairness.
Kansas State’s No. 7 Collin Klein is the cover boy on this week’s Sports Illustrated that should be stuffed in your mailbox or on your favorite newsstand today.
Klein is shown throwing the football with the headline: The BCS Matrix Begins With K-State’s Collin Klein: 27 Things You Need To Know About The Best Player On The Nation’s Best Team.
“That’s pretty cool,” admitted Klein, who also received news Tuesday that he was one of 15 players nationally, and the only player from the Big 12, named to the “Players to Watch” list for the 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. “You always see that kind of stuff growing up.”
He added, “I’m sure it will be talked about (in the locker room) and some jokes made, but we all know it’s about us and us trying to be the best we possibly can be. We’re just all enjoying the ride, myself included.”
Klein’s brother, Kyle, tells the story of how their basement was decorated in “SI” covers, and, “We’d pretend we had made the cover when one of us would throw the ball and the other would catch it by diving into some pillows.”
Asked if he believed in the “SI” cover jinx, or had any thoughts on Klein making the cover, coach Bill Snyder said, “No,” he had no thoughts, and “Not really,” in believing the cover carried a jinx.
Of reaching the No. 1 status in the nation, Snyder said, “I congratulated them (at Sunday’s team meeting), and then talked about the things we did well, and not so well in the previous game. I just said it’s important to be who we are, and be who we’ve been. Nothing has changed. We need to focus on getting better.”