Nick Reid received the call from a secretary in the Kansas University football office Tuesday morning, and he immediately wondered one thing.
"At first," Reid said, "I thought I was in trouble."
Hardly, as coach Mark Mangino's bear hug would later show. Reid, in fact, was named Big 12 Conference defensive player of the year by the coaches, an honor which was released Tuesday.
Reid, a linebacker from Derby, joined defensive end Charlton Keith and return specialist Charles Gordon on the first team. Gordon also received second-team honors for cornerback, as did Jermial Ashley at defensive end.
Twelve other Jayhawks received honorable mention.
"Nick is very deserving of this recognition," Mangino said in a statement. "He is a dedicated player that made a difference in our program. Nick will be remembered as one of the finest defensive players ever to play at Kansas."
Reid will find out today if he can sweep player-of-the-year honors: The Associated Press individual awards will be announced, a day before Thursday's announcement of the AP All-Big 12 team.
For now, Reid's a bit overwhelmed by the honor - not only individually, but in reflecting over the progress of the defense since his freshman year.
"We started off in the cellar of the Big 12 on defense," Reid said. "Now, we're one of the best defenses, not only in the Big 12, but in the country. We've come a long way."
Reid has 106 tackles this season, including 15 for a loss and three sacks. He also has an interception and two forced fumbles.
With the regular season complete, Reid is the conference's leading tackler, five ahead of Texas Tech safety Dwayne Slay.
Not bad for a quarterback recruit out of south-central Kansas.
"I've had a lot of help along the way," Reid said. "(Assistant) coach Dave Doeren has been wonderful to me. Coming in, I didn't know anything about linebacker."
¢ More honors: Rivals.com released its freshman All-America team Tuesday, and KU cornerback Aqib Talib nabbed first-team honors.
Talib and Penn State's Justin King were the two cornerbacks on the team, which featured five other Big 12 Conference players - Nebraska defensive end Barry Turner, Missouri tight end Chase Coffman, Texas A&M; offensive tackle Yemi Babalola, Texas A&M; punter Justin Brantly and Nebraska kicker Jordan Congdon.
Talib has 49 tackles and two interceptions this season, quickly establishing himself as one of the premier corners in the Big 12 after starting the season at safety.