Okafor tabbed top Big 12 defensive player

Okafor tabbed top Big 12 defensive player

Published Jul. 18, 2012 2:41 p.m. ET

Texas senior defensive end Alex Okafor has been tabbed the Big 12 defensive player of the year in the media’s preseason voting.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was picked for offensive player of the year and Oklahoma freshman receiver Trey Metoyer was selected as the newcomer of the year.

Okafor was a unanimous All Big 12 first team pick as a junior after tallying 58 tackles, seven sacks, 14 tackles for loss and three pass breakups.

Okafor was one of four Longhorns tabbed for the preseason All Big 12 team. Running back Malcolm Brown, defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat and defensive back Kenny Vaccaro also made the team.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each had a Big 12-high five players make the team.

Baylor had a pair of selections in center Ben Habern and tight end Jordan Najvar. Big 12 newcomer TCU had one selection – defensive lineman Stansley Maponga. Texas Tech also had one player make the team, senior lineman LaAdrian Waddle.