Dec. 2, 2003
DALLAS-Seven collegiate football standouts already named to the Football Writers Association of America 2003 All-America squad highlight the eighth annual All-Big 12 Conference coaches' football team.
Oklahoma's six first team All-America selections and Texas' Butkus Award finalist (with OU's Teddy Lehman) All-America LB Derrick Johnson paced one of the conference's strongest group of selectees from top to bottom.
If a wide-open voting process had been tested, possibly as many as six wide receivers and eight defensive backs easily could have been picked. As it was, coaches had some of their most difficult balloting decisions for the elite first team and second and third units.
A perfect example of this was the wide receiver position where the Sooners' Mark Clayton (school-record 71 catches for 1,289 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 18.2 yards per reception prior to the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship contest) and Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods (66 catches for 1,144 yards, 14 TDs, and 17.3 yards per snare) netted first squad laurels.
No. 1 kick return Wes Welker of Texas Tech was chosen as much for his punt return ability (NCAA-high 1,744 yards and eight punt return TDs prior to Tech's 2003 bowl bout) as his receiving savvy as he made 90 receptions for 992 yards, nine TDs, and 7.5 catches per game-tops in the Big 12 and fourth nationally in statistics through games of Nov. 29.
Second team wideouts Roy Williams (61 catches for 982 yards, eight TDs) of Texas and James Terry (58 for 1,111 yards, 12 TDs, 19.2 yards per reception before the league title game) of Kansas State were under consideration for All-America honors throughout the year. In retrospect, a Big 12-most 10 receivers had 55 catches, and these unit leaders combined for 103 TD grabs among them with the Dr Pepper Championship and bowl activity remaining.
Quarterback Jason White, whose 40 touchdown passes as opposed to just six interceptions in 364 passing attempts made him No. 1 in NCAA Division I-A passing efficiency, outlasted NCAA season standardbearer for total offense yards (5,476 yards) and net passing (5,336 yards) B.J. Symons for top spot at that position. That pair paced their respective teams to 19-5 combined marks through Nov. 29, and Symons also launched a Big 12-high 48 TD passes prior to postseason.
Defenders such as the four secondary standouts might be the envy of any all-conference configuration nationally. Nebraska's Josh Bullocks led the Big 12 and country with a season-record 10 pass interceptions while Oklahoma's Derrick Strait (a finalist for the Thorpe and Nagurski Awards) was Mr. Everything for a Sooners' defense what allowed a NCAA-fewest 233.7 net yards a game. Oklahoma State's Darrent Williams, who has a conference-most five interception returns for TDs since 2001, joined fellow big-play maker Nathan Vasher (Big 12-best 17 career pass interceptions) as top defensive backs.
The interior lines of all three units merited positive mention as well with the likes of Outland and Nagurski Trophy finalist DL Tommie Harris of Oklahoma, OU's Dusty Dvoracek, and Texas' Marcus Tubbs along the defensive front. Offensive linemen on the initial team such as Kansas State center Nick Leckey and Missouri center A.J. Ricker also have received special mention for their 2003 exploits.
Players and coaches of the year in various categories for the Big 12 will be announced Wednesday.
First Team Offense
Tight End: Matt Herian, Nebraska, 6-5, 245, So., Pierce, Neb.
Offensive Line: Nick Leckey, Kansas State, 6-4, 285, Sr., Grapevine, Texas; A.J. Ricker, Missouri, 6-4, 305, Sr., Klein, Texas; Jammal Brown, Oklahoma, 6-6, 313, Jr., Lawton, Okla.; Vince Carter, Oklahoma, 6-3, 289, Jr., Waco, Texas; Tillman Holloway, Texas, 6-3, 315, Sr., Basalt, Colo.
Wide Receiver: Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State, 6-2, 190, Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mark Clayton, Oklahoma, 5-11, 187, Jr., Arlington, Texas
Quarterback: Jason White, Oklahoma, 6-3, 221, Sr., Tuttle, Okla.
Running Back: Darren Sproles, Kansas State, 5-7, 170, Jr., Olathe, Kan.; Tatum Bell, Oklahoma State, 5-11, 205, Sr., DeSoto, Texas
Placekicker: Trey DiCarlo, Oklahoma, 6-0, 180, So., Carrollton, Texas
Kick Returner: Wes Welker, Texas Tech, 5-9, 190, Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla.
First Team Defense
End/Outside Linebacker: Dan Cody, Oklahoma, 6-5, 270, Jr., Ada, Okla.; Greg Richmond, Oklahoma State, 6-2, 245, Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Interior Line: Dusty Dvoracek, Oklahoma, 6-3, 282, Jr., Lake Dallas, Texas; Tommie Harris, Oklahoma, 6-3, 289, Jr., Killeen, Texas; Marcus Tubbs, Texas, 6-4, 310, Sr., DeSoto, Texas
Linebacker (tie in voting): Josh Buhl, Kansas State, 6-0, 210, Sr., Mesquite, Texas; Teddy Lehman, Oklahoma, 6-2, 243, Sr., Fort Gibson, Okla.; Derrick Johnson, Texas, 6-4, 230, Jr., Waco, Texas
Defensive Back: Josh Bullocks, Nebraska, 6-1, 205, So., Chattanooga, Tenn.; Derrick Strait, Oklahoma, 5-11, 195, Sr., Austin, Texas; Darrent Williams, Oklahoma State, 5-9, 175, Jr., Ft. Worth, Texas; Nathan Vasher, Texas, 5-11, 180, Texarkana, Texas
Punter: Kyle Larson, Nebraska, 6-0, 205, Sr., Funk, Neb.
Punt Returner: Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma, 6-0, 188, Jr., Lawton, Okla.
Second Team Offense
Tight End: Billy Bajema, Oklahoma State, 6-5, 260, Jr., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Offensive Line: Ryan Lilja, Kansas State, 6-3, 300, Sr., Lake Quivira, Kan.; Rob Droege, Missouri, 6-6, 305, Sr., St. Louis, Mo.; Richie Incognito, Nebraska, 6-3, 305, So., Glendale, Ariz.; Sam Mayes, Oklahoma State, 6-4, 350, Jr., Austintown, Ohio; Daniel Loper, Texas Tech, 6-7, 329, Jr., Houston, Texas
Wide Receiver: James Terry, Kansas State, 6-5, 185, Sr., Homestead, Fla.; Roy Williams, Texas, 6-4, 210, Sr., Odessa, Texas
Quarterback: B.J. Symons, Texas Tech, 6-1, 220, Sr., Houston, Texas
Running Back: Zack Abron, Missouri, 5-10, 228, Sr., Lake St. Louis, Mo.; Cedric Benson, Texas, 6-0, 215, Jr., Midland, Texas
Placekicker: Luke Phillips, Oklahoma State, 6-0, 170, Sr., Tulsa, Okla.
Kick Returner: Terrence Murphy, Texas A&M, 6-1, 195, Jr., Tyler, Texas
Second Team Defense
End/Outside Linebacker: Gabe Nyenhuis, Colorado, 6-4, 270, Sr., St. Charles, Ill.; Andrew Shull, Kansas State, 6-5, 260, Sr., Webb City, Mo.
Interior Line: Justin Montgomery, Kansas State, 6-2, 281, Sr., Smith Center, Kan.; C.J. Mosley, Missouri, 6-3, 295, So., Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.; Ryon Bingham, Nebraska, 6-3, 290, Sr., Sandy, Utah
Linebacker: John Garrett, Baylor, 6-1, 251, Sr., Mart, Texas; Demorrio Williams, Nebraska, 6-1, 215, Sr., Beckville, Texas
Defensive Back: Medford Moorer, Colorado, 5-2, 205, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.; Rashad Washington, Kansas State, 6-3, 210, Sr., Wichita, Kan.; Brodney Pool, Oklahoma, 6-3, 198, So., Houston, Texas; Ryan Aycock, Texas Tech, 6-0, 210, Sr., Lubbock, Texas
Punter: Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor, 6-2, 210, Fr., Dallas, Texas
Punt Returner: Jeremy Bloom, Colorado, 5-9, 175, So., Loveland, Colo.
Third Team Offense
Tight End: Mickey Peters, Texas Tech, 6-3, 215, Sr., Weatherford, Texas
Offensive Line: Joe Vaughn, Kansas, 6-2, 290, Jr., Del City, Okla.,; Adrian Jones, Kansas, 6-5, 265, Sr., Dallas, Texas; Jonathan Scott, Texas, 6-7, 300, So., Dallas, Texas; Geoff Hangartner, Texas A&M, 6-5, 305, Jr., New Braunfels, Texas; Toby Cecil, Texas Tech, 6-4, 295, Sr., Richardson, Texas
Wide Receivers: D.J. Hackett, Colorado, 6-3, 200, Sr., Ontario, Calif.; Lane Danielsen, Iowa State, 6-0, 195, Sr., Dike, Iowa
Quarterback (tie in voting): Bill Whittemore, Kansas, 6-0, 205, Sr., Brentwood, Tenn.; Ell Roberson, Kansas State, 6-1, 205, Sr., Baytown, Texas; Brad Smith, Missouri, 6-3, 205, So., Youngstown, Ohio
Running Back (tie in voting): Rashad Armstrong, Baylor, 5-8, 195, Sr., Miami, Fla.; Vernand Morency, Oklahoma State, 5-10, 225, So., Miami, Fla.; Courtney Lewis, Texas A&M, 5-10, 190, Fr., Houston, Texas
Placekicker: Joe Rheem, Kansas State, 6-2, 210, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
Kick Returner: Robert Quiroga, Baylor, 6-3, 190, Sr., San Antonio, Texas
Third Team Defense
End/Outside Linebacker: Jonathan Jackson, Oklahoma, 6-3, 235, Jr., Houston, Texas; Adell Duckett, Texas Tech, 6-4, 265, Jr., Mineral Wells, Texas
Interior Line: Jordan Carstens, Iowa State, 6-5, 305, Sr., Bagley, Iowa; Atiyyah Ellison, Missouri, 6-4, 295, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.; Rodrique Wright, Texas, 6-5, 315, So., Houston, Texas
Linebacker (tie in voting): Gabriel Toomey, Kansas, 6-4, 240, Jr., West Des Moines, Iowa; James Kinney, Missouri, 6-1, 239, Jr., Kankakee, Ill.; Barrett Ruud, Nebraska, 6-2, 245, Jr., Lincoln, Neb.
Defensive Back: Randy Jordan, Kansas State, 6-2, 180, Sr., Tulare, Calif.; Fabian Washington, Nebraska, 5-11, 176, So., Bradenton, Fla.; Donte Nicholson, Oklahoma, 6-2, 210, Jr., Walnut, Calif.; Brandon Everage, Oklahoma, 6-0, 202, Sr., Granger, Texas
Punter: Curtis Ansel, Kansas, 6-0, 210, Sr., Lakin, Kan.
Kick Returner: Charles Gordon, Kansas, 5-11, 170, So., Santa Monica, Calif.
Tight End: Joe Klopfenstein, Colorado; Brian Casey, Kansas State; J.D. McCoy, Missouri; Charlie Johnson, Oklahoma State
Offensive Line: Marwan Hage, Colorado; Tony Palmer, Missouri; Josh Sewell, Nebraska; Davin Joseph, Oklahoma; Wes Sims, Oklahoma
Wide Receiver: Derek McCoy, Colorado; Mark Simmons, Kansas; Isaiah Fluellen, Nebraska; Brandon Jones, Oklahoma; B.J. Johnson, Texas; Nehemiah Glover, Texas Tech; Carlos Francis, Texas Tech
Quarterback: Joel Klatt, Colorado; Jammal Lord, Nebraska; Josh Fields, Oklahoma State
Running Back: Brian Calhoun, Colorado; Clark Green, Kansas; Travis Wilson, Kansas State; J.D. Runnels, Oklahoma; Shawn Willis, Oklahoma State; Taurean Henderson, Texas Tech
Defensive End/Outside Linebacker: Jason Berryman, Iowa State; Brian Smith, Missouri; Trevor Johnson, Nebraska; Antonio Smith, Oklahoma State; Kareem Smith, Oklahoma State; Kalen Thornton, Texas
Interior Line: Clay Coe, Oklahoma State
Linebacker: Sean Tufts, Colorado; Nick Reid, Kansas; Banks Floodman, Kansas; Bryan Hickman, Kansas State; Brandon Barnes, Missouri; T.J. Hollowell, Nebraska; Brock Stratton, Texas Tech
Defensive Back: J.J. Billingsley, Colorado; JaMaine Billups, Iowa State; Ellis Hobbs, Iowa State; Tony Stubbs, Kansas; John Randle (also RB), Kansas; Mike Harden, Missouri; Daniel Bullocks, Nebraska; Jon Holland, Oklahoma State; Robert Jones, Oklahoma State; Phillip Geiggar, Texas; Jaxson Appel, Texas A&M; Vincent Meeks, Texas Tech
Special Teams: Adam Benike, Iowa State; Jared Brite, Kansas State; Cole Farden, Oklahoma State