And the winners are…
The Big 12 announced on Wednesday that Texas sophomore punter Michael Dickson had been named the Big 12’s special teams player of the year for the 2016 football season. The Big 12’s awards are selected by the head coaches at each of the conference’s schools. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players.
The media spoke earlier this week when the Associated Press released its All-Big 12 team.
Dickson averaged 47.4 yards over his 65 punts this year, which bested Russell Erxleben’s 1976 school record of 46.6 yards. A sophomore from Australia, Dickson landed 28 of his punts inside of an opponent’s 20, and only nine of the Australian’s kicks resulted in touchbacks. On Thursday, Dickson will find out if he beat out Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky and Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston for the Ray Guy Award.
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) December 7, 2016
Texas junior running back D’Onta Foreman was one of four unanimous selections for the first team of the Big 12’s all-conference team. Foreman, though, was omitted from the conference’s list of superlatives, which was a slight that came two days after he was not named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Foreman leads the nation in rushing yards (2,028) and rushing yards per game (184.4), and he scored 15 touchdowns over the 11 games he appeared. His worst outing in Big 12 play was a 124-yard effort against Kansas State on Oct. 22, and he topped 250-yard performances against Baylor and Kansas with the 341 yards he compiled at Texas Tech on Nov. 5.
Foreman was joined on the first team by Dickson and offensive lineman Connor Williams, while offensive lineman Kent Perkins and linebacker Breckyn Hager were honored on the second team. Williams was one of four Longhorns who earned a spot on the Big 12’s preseason team, but he was the only member of that quartet to earn a spot on the year-end honor roll.
Texas defensive linemen Poona Ford and Chris Nelson and offensive lineman Zach Shackelford received honorable mention nods on Wednesday.
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) December 7, 2016
Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook took home the Big 12’s top offensive honor while Kansas State senior Jordan Willis was named the conference’s defensive player of the year and defensive lineman of the year. Also picking up major awards on Wednesday were Oklahoma sophomore Orlando Brown (offensive lineman of the year), Kansas State junior D.J. Reed (defensive newcomer of the year), West Virginia junior Justin Crawford (offensive newcomer of the year), Oklahoma State freshman Justice Hill (offensive freshman of the year) and Kansas State freshman Reggie Walker (defensive freshman of the year). Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops was honored as the Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year.
Foreman (offensive player), Williams (offensive lineman), quarterback Shane Buechele (offensive freshman) and linebacker Malcolm Roach (defensive freshman) were each considered for those yearly awards.
A complete list for the Big 12’s annual awards can be found at this link.
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