The Big 12 announced its league awards on Wednesday, as voted on by a panel of 18 media members.
Coach of the Year: Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Offensive Player of the Year: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Co-Defensive Players of the Year: A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State; Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Grant Garner, C, Oklahoma State
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
Offensive Freshman of the Year: Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, Kansas State
Defensive Freshman of the Year: Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas
Special Teams Player of the Year: Quinn Sharp, P/K/KOS, Oklahoma State
Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Aaron Horne, WR, Iowa State
Defensive Newcomer of the Year: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
A few thoughts on the awards.
Well deserved honors for Snyder as the top coach and Alexander as the top defensive lineman. Both were runaway winners in my book. Garner is a solid selection as offensive lineman of the year.
Very surprised to see A.J. Klein share defensive player of the year awards. He had a great year, but you could definitely make the case that his teammate, Jake Knott, had one that was just as good. Iowa State's linebackers ascended to become the league's best by the end of the year, but Klein and Knott both surpassed 100 tackles. Klein had 101 tackles, two sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and an INT he returned for a score. Knott had 107 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Lockett taking home the offensive freshman of the year award was a huge upset, but certainly, voters factored in his kick returning accomplishments. He caught 18 passes for 246 yards and three scores, but returned 16 kicks for an average of 35.2 yards and two scores. That average was almost 10 full yards more than any other player.
Still, I would have had a tough time picking between Texas running back Malcolm Brown and wideout Jaxon Shipley for that award. Both dealt with injuries late in the season (so did Lockett, though) and Brown had 707 yards rushing with five scores. Shipley caught 40 passes for 593 yards and three scores.
I doubt any player won an award by a wider margin than Quinn Sharp did for special teams player of the year. He was nearly the best at everything in every phase of special teams. Just an unbelievable year.
Not a lot of candidates for offensive newcomer of the year, but Horne is a good selection. The juco receiver made some huge grabs for Iowa State this year.
No question about Arthur Brown, though, clearly.
RG3 as the offensive player of the year is a no-brainer. He's Baylor's first winner in school history. He may soon be the school's first Heisman winner, too.