A three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree, Klein graduated with a degree in finance last year and held a 4.0 GPA during the 2011 football season/fall semester. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree from K-State.
A three-time team captain, Klein represents Kansas State in a respectful manner as he has always shown good sportsmanship towards the opposition, officials and athletic department personnel. He is humble in victory and quick to praise his coaches and teammates after an outstanding individual performance. Klein has been called by many an exceptional role model for the entire student-athlete population at Kansas State. Head coach Bill Snyder has often commented how Klein embodies everything a parent would be proud of and his commitment to being the best student and football player possible.
“Collin is a wonderful young person,” Snyder said earlier this summer. “He has made tremendous improvement during his time in the program. And it’s happened because of the quality of person that Collin is. Collin is one of those young guys truly committed, not just lip service to it, he’s truly committed to becoming better every single day of his life in all facets of his life. He’s a very faith-based young guy and works diligently to improve his plight with the state every day. He’s a tremendous family man and he works diligently every day to become a little bit better family man to try to be a better person and certainly to become a better football student athlete. And he works diligently at trying to improve his skills and consequently does.”
Klein is also a man of faith, and uses his platform as a public figure to share his faith. He gives thanks to his parents for his Christian upbringing and acknowledges the gifts he has been given. Klein married the former Shalin Spani, daughter of former K-State linebacker and College Football Hall of Fame member Gary Spani, this summer. Additionally, he is an accomplished musician as he plays the piano, violin and mandolin.
Klein has been involved in various community service activities not only through his involvement with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), but also by his own initiative. Among the activities he is involved in on his own include serving as a prayer group leader for Grace Baptist Church and he has been the keynote speaker at multiple FCA and Christian Meetings. He has also spent two years as a Teen Adviser for Life Choices at the local pregnancy center in town.
Through his time with SAAC, Klein has participated in the following programs: Read to Achieve (an ongoing partnership with Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School); Adopt-a-Family (working with the Flint Hills Breadbasket and Salvation Army to provide holiday gifts to families who would otherwise be without anything); Special Olympics (helped with the Fifth Annual Special Olympics Sports Clinic that hosted 80-plus Special Olympians in the area) and community retirement center visitations (regular visits to local retirement centers in Manhattan).
Klein is coming off one of the best seasons in K-State history. The quarterback, who is a candidate for the Manning, Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards, was an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated last season after rushing for 27 touchdowns, which broke the school record and tied both the Big 12 and FBS quarterback records. Aside from his All-America honors, Klein was also named a First Team All-Big 12 performer by the Associated Press, ESPN.com, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and San Antonio Express-News. He also earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades from the league’s coaches and received votes for the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Award. The quarterback accounted for 40 touchdowns as he also threw for 13 scores. As a passer, Klein was 161-of-281 for 1,918 yards and threw just six interceptions.