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NCAA Football

Big 12 Football Preseason First, Second And Third Teams: Advising Athlon

Each summer, college football preview magazines appear on grocery store shelves and each year, I find myself less enthused. That’s not disappointment at the arrival of amateur pigskin, it’s because so much of the information therein those publications appears daily on the Internet. As the New Orleans Times-Picayune lessens printing to three days per week, is there a point where Phil Steele, Athlon and Lindy’s find themselves wondering whether the price of paper is worth it? Let’s hope not because a legion of males forced into trips to acquire produce and frozen pizza need a place of respite that the magazine aisle provides. And at worst, their all-conference selections offer plenty of June fodder to assuage the notion that late August is still two months away.

Here are Athlon’s Big 12 first, second and third team choices with my own thoughts sprinkled in:

First-Team Offense

QB Geno Smith, West Virginia: As handily as Landry Jones struggled in 2011 without Ryan Broyles, I think this is still his seat. Smith may annihilate Big 12 defenses but he’s given far too much credit for the 70-point Orange Bowl. It seems pundits forget Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib outplayed him last October.

RB Malcolm Brown, Texas: He’s going to share lots of carries with Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray. If Brown is better than both, the numbers still might not show that.

RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State

WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

WR Stedman Bailey, West Virginia: Baylor’s Terrance Williams deserves one of these two Mountaineer wideout spots. Again, Orange Bowl fever.

WR Kenny Stills, Oklahoma: Notable in that with all of the Trey Metoyer headlines emanating out of Norman, perhaps Stills finishes 2012 behind his own teammate for conference honors.

C Ben Habern, Oklahoma

OL Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

OL Cyril Richardson, Baylor

OL Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State

OL LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech: If the all-Big 12 name team makes an appearance on Rant Sports in the future, Red Raiders lineman LaAdrian Waddle is the reason why.
First-Team Defense

DL Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

DL Stansly Maponga, TCU: Gary Patterson hasn’t lost his entire unit this offseason. A lot of them, but not all.

DL Alex Okafor, Texas

LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State: The brother of notorious recruit and quiet contributor Bryce Brown found a home, close to home, in Bill Snyder’s annually underrated defense.

LB Jordan Hicks, Texas

LB A.J. Klein, Iowa State

LB Jake Knott, Iowa State

CB Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State: I tried to think of a flurry of adjectives for my favorite Big 12 defensive back but every time I see him on TV, it’s just “brick shithouse.”

CB Quandre Diggs, Texas: Diggs’ fellow Longhorns corner Carrington Byndom probably earns this place in my purview considering he drew the tougher assignments in 2011 and will do the same in 2012.

S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
First-Team Specialists

K Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State: Just don’t ask him about Ames.

P Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State

KR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

PR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

Second-Team Offense

QB Collin Klein, Kansas State: The Wildcats won tight (nine decided by a touchdown or less) games in 2011 because it took advantage of breaks and Klein’s poise. The latter accomplishing the former two years in a row is a lot to ask when Kansas State was outgained by over 100 yards per contest in conference play.

RB Eric Stephens, Texas Tech: Prior to dislocating his left knee, Stephens was on pace for a career season and his recovery might determine whether a Red Raider runner carries on the legacy of Byron Hanspard or if Tommy Tuberville is looking for another job next winter.

RB Dominique Whaley, Oklahoma: Similar to Stephens, a season-ending injury probably kept Whaley off the first team.

WR Josh Boyce, TCU

WR Darrin Moore, Texas Tech

WR Terrance Williams, Baylor: Art Briles has proven himself an offensive savant. Should Williams get any help from quarterback Nick Florence, he might follow the departed Kendall Wright in the NFL Draft’s opening rounds.

C Joe Madsen, West Virginia

OL Tyler Evans, Oklahoma

OL Blaize Foltz, TCU: Name-team candidate.

OL Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas: Will be required by Charlie Weis to kiss his Super Bowl rings on a daily basis. This breeds character and winning, not Tom Brady, you dolt.

OL Mason Walters, Texas
Second-Team Defense

DL David King, Oklahoma

DL Toben Opurum, Kansas

DL R.J. Washington, Oklahoma: This feels like a reputation choice. A former all-world recruit, Washington hasn’t lived up to that steep ceiling in Norman yet.

DL Meshak Williams, Kansas State

LB Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State

LB Corey Nelson, Oklahoma

LB Tom Wort, Oklahoma: If there’s one thing Bob Stoops has always crafted with pride, it’s mean, nasty linebackers that produce. Wort and Nelson both like laying a hat. Staying healthy in the process keeps a postseason trip to Miami available.

CB Demontre Hurst, Oklahoma

CB Nigel Malone, Kansas State

S Ahmad Dixon, Baylor

S Terence Garvin, West Virginia
Second-Team Specialists

K Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma

P Kirby Van Der Camp, Iowa State

KR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

PR Quandre Diggs, Texas

By the third team, coaches who select all-conference players are either relying on their SID’s or throwing darts at a recruiting wall. Or they’re choosing the kid that decimated their team on Saturday and maybe sat out the remainder of the season. That’s not to say earning third-team Big 12 honors is a slight, these are still prospects, but you’re starting to give away participating ribbons at this point.

Third-Team Offense

QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma

RB Waymon James, TCU

RB Trey Millard, Oklahoma

WR Tracy Moore, Oklahoma State

WR Tevin Reese, Baylor

WR Jaxon Shipley, Texas

C Ivory Wade, Baylor

OL Jeff Braun, West Virginia

OL Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

OL Nick Puetz, Kansas State

OL Duane Zlatnik, Kansas
Third-Team Defense

DL Will Clarke, West Virginia

DL Ashton Dorsey, Texas

DL Vai Lutui, Kansas State

DL Nigel Nicholas, Oklahoma State

LB Kenny Cain, TCU

LB Steve Edmond, Texas

LB Alex Elkins, Oklahoma State

CB Carrington Byndom, Texas

CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

S Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State

S Bradley McDougald, Kansas
Third-Team Specialists

K Aaron Jones, Baylor

P Tress Way, Oklahoma

KR Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

PR Brandon Carter, TCU