(TNS) — Dalton Risner has another award to add to his trophy case.
And it has nothing to do with his on-field efforts.
Risner, a Kansas State offensive lineman, was named the Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year by the conference on Tuesday.
Risner is the third K-State athlete — and first male — to win the award, which was established during the 2000-01 academic year. The award recognizes student-athletes who display sportsmanship, community service and academic achievement. K-State's other winners are women's basketball player Kim Woodlee (2000-01) and women's golfer Whitney Pyle (2012-13).
Risner started the RiseUp Foundation, to "encourage everyone to RISE above the evil and sin in this world and be a positive shining light in the lives of others." The foundation's goal is to motivate people through Risner's words, actions and relationships.
He also visits Buttonwood Special Needs Home, and has forged a particularly close bond with one of its members, Mike. The pair go to movies, the bowling alley and hang out nearly every week. Risner goes to the home to spend time with Mike before they visit places around Manhattan.
Risner also serves as a Big Brother to a child named Kaden, who is battling leukemia. In addition, Risner writes notes and sends football memorabilia to people going through difficult times. One was a child in Arizona named Wyatt, who is nearly deaf and has been bullied at school. During K-State's practices for the Cactus Bowl last December, Wyatt was Risner's guest, receiving autographed items.
Risner also takes part in the K-State football program's community initiatives, including including Special Olympics, the Senior Kats (who spend time at local retirement communities), Cats in the Classroom (volunteering at local elementary schools), Cats 4 Cans (collection of food items for the Flint Hills Breadbasket) and Adopt-a-Family.
A native of Wiggins, Colorado, Risner had a standout junior campaign last season. He was selected to Pro Football Focus' first-team All-America squad and landed on CBS Sports' All-America second team. His blocking efficiency (98.9) in pass protection tied for fourth nationally among FBS offensive tackles, allowing just three quarterback pressures according to PFF.