The following is a press release sent out by Iowa State athletic communications.
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State quarterback Brett Bueker, linebackers A.J. Klein and Jake Knott, wide receiver Josh Lenz and running back James White have been voted co-captains by their teammates on the Cyclone football team for the 2012 season. The announcement was made Friday by head coach Paul Rhoads. Bueker, Klein, Knott and Lenz are seniors. White is a junior. Knott is a co-captain for the second straight year.
“There is not a bigger honor in college athletics than being selected as a captain on a vote of your teammates,” Rhoads said. “This is the kind of recognition one gets for much more than play on the field. Respect of this nature comes from giving it all in practice, in school, within the community and in the weight room, among other things. There are responsibilities that go with the title but these guys have proven themselves throughout three to four years as a Cyclone.”
Bueker, a Bettendorf native, has been a backup quarterback since coming to Iowa State from Pleasant Valley High School. He has been the holder on field goal and PAT tries. His leadership and community involvement has earned him Big 12 recognition as member of the Chick-fil-A Community of Champions. The kinesiology-health fitness major earned the 2011 Reuben J. Miller Award for conduct on and off the field that best represents Iowa State. He was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree for the 2011 season.
Klein was the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 on a vote of the league’s coaches. He finished the season with 116 tackles en route to first-team All-Big 12 honors. The Kimberly, Wis. native is a preseason All-America selection by Phil Steele’s College 2012 Football Preview. He earned the Pete Taylor Award as the Cyclone MVP last season. He enters the 2012 campaign with 244 career tackles, including 16.5 for loss. His three interception returns for touchdowns is a school record. The two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree is a kinesiology-physical therapy major.
Knott earned first-team All-Big 12 honors at linebacker. His 115 tackles were made despite a series of injuries that plagued him throughout the season. It was Knott who got a hand on Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden’s pass intended for wide receiver Justin Blackmon that led to the second overtime interception by Ter’Ran Benton. The play set up Iowa State’s winning score for a 37-31 victory against the No. 2 Cowboys. Knott had 13 tackles and forced a fumble in that game. The management major is a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree.
Lenz made some of the biggest plays of the 2012 season. His TD catch in the corner of the endzone late saved Iowa State’s 20-19 victory over Northern Iowa. In Iowa State’s 24-20 win at UCONN, the Dubuque native sustained the Cyclones’ winning drive in the fourth quarter making a third-down reception that Rhoads called “the best catch I’ve ever seen.” Iowa State scored the winning touchdown two plays later. Lenz starts the 2012 season with 73 career catches for 866 yards and four touchdowns. The business major has averaged 23.1 yards on 38 kickoff returns and 6.7 yards on 46 punt returns.
White stepped up his play last season, taking over full-time duties at running back after an injury on Shontrelle Johnson. White averaged 4.7 yards per carry with 743 yards on 159 carries and eight touchdowns. He also grabbed 21 passes for 179 yards and a key catch for a 25-yard TD pass from quarterback Jared Barnett in the first overtime of the Iowa State win over Oklahoma State. White scored the winning TD in the third overtime of Iowa State’s 44-41 win, off a pitch from Steele Jantz. He rushed for a career-high 148 yards and a touchdown at Baylor last season. He has been a member of the Big 12 Commissioners Academic Honor Roll.