Jefferson takes home Big 12 hardware as top defensive freshman

Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson was named the Big 12's Defensive Freshman of the Year on Wednesday.
Brendan Maloney/Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Jefferson was the crown jewel of Texas coach Charlie Strong’s 2015 recruiting class, and on Wednesday Jefferson was named the Big 12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Jefferson becomes the sixth Longhorns player to win the award.

On a unit that struggled throughout the season, and surrendered more yards than any other Texas defense in program history, Jefferson was indeed a bright spot as a young leader and playmaker. Jefferson played in 11 games and started nine. He finished second on the team in tackles with 61. He had seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Previous Texas freshmen to win the award include Quandre Diggs (2011), Brian Orakpo (2005), Rodrique Wright (2002), Derrick Johnson (2001) and Cory Redding (1999).

Other than Jefferson, the All-Big 12 selections were a major disappointment for Texas. It joined only Kansas and Iowa State with no selections to the first team. Senior full back Alex De La Torre and senior linebacker Peter Jinkens were named to the second team. For the entire 2015 All-Big 12 football awards, click here.


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