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Loveland's Collin Klein a Heisman contender

Loveland, Colo., native Collin Klein of the Kansas State Wildcats is making his case as a Heisman Trophy contender in 2012.

Justin K. Aller

Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein bolstered his chances this past week for inclusion in the Heisman Trophy race, completing 19-of-21 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns while running for another 41 yards and four scores against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel has the dual-threat quarterback atop his Heisman ballot. ESPN's Heisman 12 places the Loveland, Colo., native at No. 3 and rising, and West Virginia's Geno Smith is falling from the top spot after Klein more than outplayed him on Saturday. Ohio State's Braxton Miller, meanwhile, hasn't played the schedule nor put up quite the gaudy numbers as Klein, who has accounted for 64 percent of his team's offense this season.

Klein is the second most efficient passer in the country behind Alabama's A.J. McCarron, and has thrown for 1,397 yards and rushed for 551. He has 28 total touchdowns on the year and just two interceptions.

The Loveland High School graduate has been so good, his teammates were calling him "John" during the Wildcats' rout of the Mountaineers this weekend, according to Mandel. That would be for his jersey number 7, the same number as former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.