College football guru Phil Steele is previewing his must-read offseason magazine, and with it, he's releasing his all-conference and All-America teams.
Here's who he slated as his first-team All-Big 12 squad:
QB: Landry Jones, Oklahoma
RB: Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
RB: Malcolm Brown, Texas
WR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia
WR: Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
WR: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
TE: Jordan Najvar, Baylor
C: Ben Habern, Oklahoma
OL: Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State
OL: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
OL: LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech
OL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor
I'd probably go with Geno Smith ahead of Jones, but it's close. You could definitely make a compelling case for both.
I'd also lean more toward Terrance Williams at Baylor for that third receiver spot ahead of Stills. Stills' upside is still really high, but again, it's close between those two.
Good grief, the tight end spot in the Big 12 is a rough. Navjar is a good selection. Travis Tannahill at Kansas State could grab that spot, too. You're almost better off picking a sixth offensive lineman or a fullback like Trey Millard at Oklahoma, who's more valuable than any of the league's tight ends.
DL: Alex Okafor, Texas
DL: Stansly Maponga, TCU
DL: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
DL: Jamarkus McFarland, Oklahoma
LB: Jake Knott, Iowa State
LB: Tom Wort, Oklahoma
LB: A.J. Klein, Iowa State
LB: Arthur Brown, Kansas State
CB: Nigel Malone, Kansas State
CB: Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State
S: Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
S: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
P: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
K: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
PR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia
KR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
No complaints among the specialists, but I'd definitely have kept a more traditional three linebackers. You could afford to leave Tom Wort off that list. Not so with the other three.
After a sad group of cornerbacks in 2011, the position looks pretty loaded this year. There's no fewer than five guys in my book who deserve strong consideration and probably a spot on the first team. It's too bad there are only two spots. Clearly, Malone and Brown are deserving, but so are Justin Gilbert, Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs.
Safeties are both loaded. Maybe two of the best defenders in the league.
Here's who Steele tabbed as All-Americans, too.
Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Quinn Sharp, K, Oklahoma State
Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
Lane Taylor, OL, Oklahoma State
Quinn Sharp, P, Oklahoma State
Tyler Lockett, KR, Kansas State
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Gabe Ikard, OL, Oklahoma
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State
Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Tavon Austin, KR, West Virginia