Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is the unanimous pick as The Associated Press Big 12 offensive player of the year for the second time in three seasons, and the Heisman Trophy finalist is also the first quarterback to be a first-team pick in the league three straight years.
The playoff-bound Sooners have six first-team picks on the AP all-league team announced Friday, a week after they won their 11th Big 12 title overall – and third in a row. That includes linebacker/defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo as the league’s top defensive player.
Mayfield, the AP player of the year, was also the league’s top offensive player in 2015, when the Sooners went to the College Football Playoff in his first season as their starter. Big-play Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook, who caught passes from Mayfield, took the honor last year when both were Heisman finalists.
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Okoronkwo was among five different players who got votes for the defensive of the year award. Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson, Iowa State linebacker Joel Lanning , TCU end and league sacks leader Mat Boesen , and Longhorns safety and Big 12 interceptions leader DeShon Elliott were all first-team picks and also got top player votes.
Iowa State’s Matt Campbell was named the top Big 12 coach in his second season with the Cyclones (7-5), whose first winning season since 2009 includes upset victories over Oklahoma and TCU, both in the top five when those games were played. Campbell got 14 of 19 votes for coach of the year. Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley got the remaining five votes in his first season succeeding five-time Big 12 top coach Bob Stoops.
West Virginia junior quarterback Will Grier, a former Florida transfer, was named the league’s top newcomer.
The 2017 AP All-Big 12 team, as selected by a panel of 19 sports writers and sportscasters who regularly cover the league, with players listed alphabetically with name, school, height, weight, class and hometown. (”u-” denotes unanimous selections):
Offensive player of the year – Baker Mayfield, QB, Sr., Oklahoma.
Defensive player of the year – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/LB, Sr., Oklahoma.
Newcomer of the year – Will Grier, QB, Jr., West Virginia
AP All-Big 12 Voting Panel:
Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman; Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register; Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News; Paul Catalina, ESPN Central Texas; Mark Cooper, Tulsa World; Bill Haisten, Tulsa World; Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman; Kevin Haskin, Topeka Capital-Journal; Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal-World; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Sean Manning, The Dominion Post; Carlos Mendez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Tyler Palmateer, Norman Transcript; Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register; Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle; Mitch Vingle, Charleston Gazette-News; John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald; Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25