NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is the unanimous pick as The Associated Press Big 12 offensive player of the year for the second time in three seasons, and the Heisman Trophy finalist is also the first quarterback to be a first-team pick in the league three straight years.
The playoff-bound Sooners have six first-team picks on the AP all-league team announced Friday, a week after they won their 11th Big 12 title overall — and third in a row. That includes linebacker/defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo as the league’s top defensive player.
Mayfield, the AP player of the year, was also the league’s top offensive player in 2015, when the Sooners went to the College Football Playoff in his first season as their starter. Big-play Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook, who caught passes from Mayfield, took the honor last year when both were Heisman finalists.
Okoronkwo was among five different players who got votes for the defensive of the year award. Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson, Iowa State linebacker Joel Lanning , TCU end and league sacks leader Mat Boesen , and Longhorns safety and Big 12 interceptions leader DeShon Elliott were all first-team picks and also got top player votes.
Iowa State’s Matt Campbell was named the top Big 12 coach in his second season with the Cyclones (7-5), whose first winning season since 2009 includes upset victories over Oklahoma and TCU, both in the top five when those games were played. Campbell got 14 of 19 votes for coach of the year. Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley got the remaining five votes in his first season succeeding five-time Big 12 top coach Bob Stoops.
West Virginia junior quarterback Will Grier, a former Florida transfer, was named the league’s top newcomer.
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