As Charlie Strong prepares to improve his moribund defense from 2015, according to one publication, he’ll have one of the three best linebackers in the nation to build around.
Sophomore Malik Jefferson was tabbed this week as a first-team preseason All-American by Sporting News. Joining him as linebackers on the first team are Clemson’s Ben Boulware and Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan. The publication has this to say about Jefferson for 2016: “Jefferson is an instinctive linebacker who can deliver the big hit. Will he help elevate the Longhorns’ defense to something more as a sophomore?”
Jefferson finished last year with 61 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He was named to freshman All-American teams by Football Writers of Association of America and ESPN at the end of the 2015 season.
No other Big 12 player was named to Sporting News’ first team, but Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine was named the second team. Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett was tabbed as a first-team defensive end.
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