FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is the unanimous pick for The Associated Press Big 12 offensive player of the year, the fourth consecutive season a player from the conference champion Sooners has won the honor.
Murray, a Heisman Trophy finalist who this week was also named the AP’s national player of the year , was one of a league-high six first-team picks from Oklahoma on the AP All-Big 12 team announced Friday.
West Virginia junior linebacker David Long Jr. was selected as the league’s top defensive player, and Kansas freshman running back/kick returner Pooka Williams Jr. the league’s newcomer of the year. The ballots were submitted before Williams’ arrest on suspicion of domestic battery this week. Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley was named Big 12 coach of the year in a split vote.
Murray has set a school record with 4,945 total yards (4,053 passing, 892 rushing) and accounted for 51 touchdowns (40 passing, 11 rushing) after the first-round MLB draft pick succeeded Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield as starting quarterback this season. Mayfield was the AP Big 12 top offensive player in 2015 and 2017, and Oklahoma big-play receiver Dede Westbrook won it in 2016.
Long has 97 tackles, including 18 1/2 tackles for loss and eight sacks in his 11 games so far. Williams is the Big 12 leader with 151 all-purpose yards a game after he finished his first season with 1,125 yards rushing, 289 yards receiving and 246 yards on kickoff returns.
The Sooners this season became the first team to win four consecutive Big 12 titles and are going to the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row under Riley. He received nine of the 20 votes for coach of the year, while Iowa State’s Matt Campbell got seven and Baylor’s Matt Rhule got the final four.
Long got 12 first-place votes for the defensive player honor, with Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. and Texas defensive end Charles Omenihu, both first-team picks, each received three. Williams, a first-team pick as the all-purpose player and second-team running back, got 16 votes for top newcomer.
The 2018 AP All-Big 12 team, as selected by a panel of 20 sports writers and sportscasters who regularly cover the league, with players listed alphabetically with name, school, height, weight, class and hometown. (“u-” denotes unanimous selections, (asterisk)-three WRs tie for second spot):
P_Kyle Thompson, Kansas, 6-4, 210, So., El Cajon, California.
Coach of the year — Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma.
Offensive player of the year — u-Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma.
Defensive player of the year — David Long Jr., LB, West Virginia
Newcomer of the year — Pooka Williams Jr., RB/KR, Kansas.
AP All-Big 12 Voting Panel:
Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman; Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register; Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; Tom Bragg, Charleston Gazette-Mail; Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News; Paul Catalina, ESPN Central Texas; Mark Cooper, Tulsa World; Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Matt Galloway, Topeka Capital-Journal; Bill Haisten, Tulsa World; Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Sean Manning, The Dominion Post; Tyler Palmateer, Norman Transcript; Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register; Soren Petro, Sports Radio 810; Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle; Carlos Silva, Jr., Lubbock Avalanche-Journal; John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald; Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
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