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Six Earn All-Big 12 Honors


By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
December 05, 2012 12:07 PM
IRVING, Texas – West Virginia University senior Tavon Austin and Oklahoma State’s Quinn Sharp were named Big 12 co-special teams player of the year, the conference announced today.

Austin finished the regular season ranked second in the country in all-purpose yardage after averaging 230 yards per game. Earlier this year, Austin set a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards in West Virginia’s 50-49 loss to Oklahoma while rushing for a school-record 344 yards in that game.

"What Tavon did against Oklahoma is the single greatest performance I've seen, ever," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen.

Austin is the only player in college football this season to score touchdowns four different ways – pass, run, kickoff return and punt return – and he finished the regular season leading the Mountaineers with 110 receptions, to go along with 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. He rushed 61 times for 598 yards and three touchdowns and accumulated more than 900 yards in returns.

Austin returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Kansas State and a punt for a TD against TCU.

Austin and teammate Stedman Bailey were also named to the AP all-Big 12 first team as wide receivers. Bailey caught 106 passes for 1,501 yards and a school-record 23 touchdowns, and is one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award presented to college football’s top wide receivers. One of the other three finalists, Baylor’s Terrance Williams, was the other wide receiver named to the all-Big 12 first team revealed today. Austin made the first team as a punt/kick returner as well.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was selected to the all-Big 12 second team after passing for 4,004 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. Smith completed 71.4 percent of his passes while throwing just six interceptions.

Smith came into this season as the Big 12 preseason offensive player of the year.

"The finger got pointed at him for not doing specific things well, but he's been playing well," said Holgorsen. "He's played well all year, he's a great quarterback, and I'm proud of his accomplishments."

Kansas State’s Collin Klein was the league’s first team selection at quarterback.

Mountaineer players receiving honorable mention were freshman defensive back Karl Joseph (defense) and senior wide receiver Ryan Nehlen (scholar-athlete).

All-Big 12 Honors Notebook:

- Collin Klein is the first K-State player to earn Offensive Player of the Year.

- Arthur Brown is the third Wildcat to earn Defensive Player of the Year (Terrence Newman, 2002 and Mark Simoneau, 1999).

- Lache Seastrunk is the first Baylor player to be named Offensive Newcomer of the Year while Calvin Barnett is the first from Oklahoma State to garner Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

- Bill Snyder was tabbed as Coach of the Year for the fourth time (1998, 2002, 2011) and the second consecutive season.

- This year marks the first for Special Teams Co-Players of the Year. Quinn Sharp is the third Oklahoma State player in the last five years (Dez Bryant, 2008 and Dan Bailey, 2010) to earn the honor and has captured it two straight seasons.

- J.W. Walsh is Oklahoma State's second top offensive freshman (Tony Lindsay, 1997).

- Baylor garnered its first offensive lineman award while K-State earned its first for defensive lineman. The awards were first chosen in 2006.
Nick Florence received the inaugural football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The award is a new addition for all sports in 2012-13.

- Oklahoma has won the most individual awards in the 17-year history of the Big 12 with 27. K-State and Texas are next with 23 winners, followed by Oklahoma State (15), Iowa State (8), Texas Tech (7), Baylor (6) and Kansas (6).

- TCU and West Virginia each picked up an individual award in their first season as a member of the Big 12.

Offensive Player of the Year
Collin Klein, Kansas State, QB, Sr, Loveland, Colo.

Defensive Player of the Year
Arthur Brown, Kansas State, LB, Sr, Wichita, Kan.

Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Lache Seastrunk, Baylor, RB, So, Temple, Texas

Offensive Lineman of the Year
Cyril Richardson, Baylor, Jr, Fort Worth, Texas

Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State, DT, Jr, Tulsa, Okla.

Defensive Lineman of the Year
Meshak Williams, Kansas State, DE, Sr, Sylvester, Ga.

Offensive Freshman of the Year
J.W. Walsh, Oklahoma State, QB, Denton, Texas

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Nick Florence, Baylor, QB, Sr, Garland, Texas

Defensive Freshman of the Year
Devonte Fields, TCU, DE, Arlington, Texas (unanimous)

Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year
Bill Snyder, Kansas State, 21st Season

Co-Special Teams Players of the Year
Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State, PK/P, Sr, Mansfield, Texas
Tavon Austin, West Virginia, KR/PR, Sr, Baltimore, Md.



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