There’s a lot of pride when it comes to Collin Klein.
He’s proud when he scores a Wildcat touchdown, but seriously just as proud when he reads books to elementary school kids, or helps in Special Olympic projects, or his involvement in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
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 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.
Klein has lost his hold on the early voting for the Heisman Trophy, but remains a finalist for the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards.