ESPN.com's 2011 All-Big 12 Team

Editor’s Note: Tune into the “AT&T ESPN All America Team Show” on Saturday (ABC, 1:30 p.m. ET) to see who ESPN’s writers and experts selected.

It's been a fun season across the Big 12, with a few big names who didn't play as well as we thought, and lots of unknowns who became household names by the end of the season.

I'll offer my comments below, but here's our All-Big 12 team for 2011.


QB: Robert Griffin III, Baylor

All-purpose: Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State

RB: Terrance Ganaway, Baylor

RB: Henry Josey, Missouri

FB: Trey Millard, Oklahoma

WR: Kendall Wright, Baylor

WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

WR: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

TE: Michael Egnew, Missouri

C: Grant Garner, Oklahoma State

OL: Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State

OL: Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State

OL: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

OL: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M


DE: Frank Alexander, Oklahoma

DT: Dominique Hamilton, Missouri

DE: Alex Okafor, Texas

DE: Jamie Blatnick, Oklahoma State

LB: Sean Porter, Texas A&M

LB: Jake Knott, Iowa State

LB: Emmanuel Acho, Texas

NB: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

CB: Nigel Malone, Kansas State

CB: Carrington Byndom, Texas

S: Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

S: Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State


P: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State

PK: Randy Bullock, Texas A&M

PR: Dustin Harris, Texas A&M

KR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

Finally, a few notes and explanations:

  • I loved the media's idea to craft an all-purpose spot to accomodate Collin Klein. The Big Ten did the same for Michigan's Denard Robinson last season. I followed suit, and did so on the defensive side of the ball with a nickel-back spot for Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson. Two players that missed first-team designation by the coaches, but clearly deserve to be recognized.

  • Additionally, I prefer the teams to reflect the Big 12 style of play, so the nickel back fits. Each team doesn't have 11 players, but there were deserving linebackers. The same with Egnew and Millard. Does every team use a fullback or a tight end? No, but both are standout performers. They'd rotate in anyway, just as Jefferson would in a theoretical package.

  • Tough call to leave Philip Blake from Baylor off my team, but Garner's been better. Blake is very, very close, though.

  • Hated to leave off Brodrick Brown and E.J. Gaines, but I went with a more traditional two corners and two safeties, rather than four corners like the media's team.

  • Steven Johnson and Arthur Brown would have been right behind my three linebackers. That race was probably closer than at any other position, except maybe cornerback. Difficult to leave either of those guys off my first team, but the three on the team were better. I gave Brown my Newcomer of the Year nod, though.

  • I don't like going with three defensive ends and one defensive tackle, but there wasn't a defensive tackle who deserved the honor more than Okafor, my third defensive end. Okafor was a defensive tackle last year anyway, so that's close enough, right? He moved from tackle to end before spring practice earlier this year. In the Big 12, an additional pass rusher is necessary, too, right?

  • I made a similar move with my offensive line. Went tackle-heavy, but the guards didn't have quite as many standouts.