4 Longhorns Selected For 2013 Preseason All Big 12 Football Team

Erich Schlegel

The preseason prognostications continue to pour forth, this time in the media's preseason All Big 12 selections.

The Longhorns were tied for the 2nd most selections with Texas Tech and TCU with four. KSU surprisingly led the conference with 5 1st team picks. Thanks special teams!

The Longhorns selected: Quandre Diggs, Jackson Jeffcoat, Trey Hopkins, and Jordan Hicks.

As usual, the media tends towards selecting familiarity, stat numbers, and reputation. Often reliable guide posts, but sometimes they can lead you astray or into groupthink.

Naturally, I have a few bones to pick.

OFFENSE
Pos Name School Ht Wt Cl/Exp Hometown
WR Josh Stewart Oklahoma State 5-10 185 Jr/2L Denton, Texas
TE Jace Amaro % Texas Tech 6-5 257 Jr/2L San Antonio, Texas
OL Cyril Richardson ^# Baylor 6-5 335 Sr/3L Fort Worth, Texas
OL Cornelius Lucas # Kansas State 6-9 328 Sr/2L New Orleans, La.
C Gabe Ikard ^# Oklahoma 6-4 295 Sr/3L Oklahoma City, Okla.
OL Trey Hopkins # Texas 6-4 300 Sr/3L Galena Park, Texas
OL Le'Raven Clark Texas Tech 6-5 303 So/1L Rockdale, Texas
WR Eric Ward Texas Tech 6-0 204 Sr/3L Wichita Falls, Texas
QB Casey Pachall TCU 6-5 230 Sr/3L Brownwood, Texas
RB Lache Seastrunk Baylor 5-10 210 Jr/1L Temple, Texas
RB John Hubert # Kansas State 5-7 191 Sr/2L Waco, Texas
PK Jaden Oberkrom TCU 6-3 187 So/1L Arlington, Texas
KR Tyler Lockett ^ Kansas State 5-11 175 Jr/2L

Tulsa, Okla.

I'm good with the OL selections. Which is a surprise, since they're usually good for one chuckle or two. Note to self: I need to remember to weave "That's so Le'Raven!" into a Tech OL post.

TCU QB Casey Pachall is a fascinating selection given his history, but it's as defensible as any other selections, for reasons I documented in another post. You can make a pretty good argument for a lot of dudes.

A two WR first team in a league exclusively dedicated to the spread offense? Alrighty. OSU WR Josh Stewart is a shoo-in. Eric Ward should have a big volume year with a fast start, but don't be surprised when an OU receiver (I reckon Jalen Saunders), Baylor's Tevin Reese, Longhorn Mike Davis, or one of TCU's guys (Carter or Brown) have more impact.

I'm reasonably confident that KSU's John Hubert won't be paired with Lache Seastrunk at RB when the dust settles. He's a familiarity pick.

Tech TE Jace Amaro could throw up a 70 catch, 10 TD year.

The defensive picks range from obvious to treacherous to silly.

DEFENSE
Pos Name School Ht Wt Cl/Exp Hometown
DL Devonte Fields !# TCU 6-4 240 So/1L Arlington, Texas
DL Calvin Barnett # Oklahoma State 6-2 300 Sr/3L Tulsa, Okla.
DL Jackson Jeffcoat ^ Texas 6-5 245 Sr/3L Plano, Texas
DL Kerry Hyder % Texas Tech 6-2 281 Sr/3L Austin, Texas
LB Bryce Hager % Baylor 6-2 235 Jr/2L Austin, Texas
LB Jordan Hicks Texas 6-2 235 Jr/2L Cincinnati, Ohio
LB Shaun Lewis Oklahoma State 5-11 225 Sr/3L Missouri City, Texas
DB Ty Zimmerman # Kansas State 6-1 204 Sr/2L Junction City, Kan.
DB Jason Verrett # TCU 5-10 176 Sr/2L Fairfield, Calif.
DB Aaron Colvin # Oklahoma 6-0 181 Sr/3L Tulsa, Okla.
DB Quandre Diggs Texas 5-10 200 Jr/2L Angleton, Texas
P Kirby Van Der Kamp % Iowa State 6-4 211 Sr/3L West Des Moines, Iowa
PR Tramaine Thompson Kansas State 5-8 167 Sr/2L Jenks, Okla.

DE picks Devonte Fields and Jackson Jeffcoat seem obvious at first blush, but Jeffcoat's injury history and Fields' offseason lack of focus make this uncertain. Remember, Patterson suspended Fields for TCU's first two games. And Jeffcoat has had two of three seasons curtailed by injury. Both are certainly the class of the conference at their position, but they need to be on the field.

DT. TCU's Chucky Hunter is the most valuable run stopper in the league. He's my first team DT. TCU's nickel becomes a pom squad without this stubby anchor. I could care less about his stats. Longhorn DT Malcolm Brown, though a less proven commodity than his peers and a pure projection pick, is my choice to flank him. Blind homerism and optimistic over-projection? Yes, please.

Texas Tech's Kerry Hyder is an established veteran with a great first step and solid stats, but has anyone else noticed his drop off against the top half OLs in this league? He slaughters bad OL, but when the competition steps up enough to deal with his get-off, he can get awfully quiet. I'll be watching the backstretch of his 2013 season with great interest. OSU's Calvin Barnett is solid.

LB. Deep breath. Bryce Hager ticks all of the media boxes (familiar name! tackle stats! returning starter! legacy!) and doesn't belong on the first team, even though he'll probably lead the league in tackles. I'm not sure he's the best LB on their team (that's Eddie Lackey). He was benched in-game against Texas last year after we ran the same play at him approximately fifteen times in a row and I thought the Baylor defense played better football down the stretch primarily because of Lackey and their corners. Jordan Hicks is a talent projection pick and Shaun Lewis is a prototype spread OLB who should flourish in the new OSU blitz packages.

TCU CB Verrett is my preseason Big 12 Defensive MVP. Diggs is a fine selection, but one heavily predicated on our ability to keep him in man under coverage with a safety over the top or reading eyes in Cover 3. Isolate Diggs on and island and you can expose him deep. Aaron Colvin certainly looks the part and it's not unreasonable to think he puts it all together for a great senior year. Will he get the required help from his front 7? KSU safety Ty Zimmerman will try to hold together a KSU defense that's going to struggle with inexperience. Baylor's corners aren't too shabby (I'm being serious) and if OSU's Justin Gilbert can find a coverage scheme that plays to his strengths and more focus on his contract year, he has a shot at a big year.

I have a high opinion of Iowa State safety Jacques Washington for his ability to force turnovers in run support and in zone coverage, but you won't see him on any of these teams. A is for Ames. And Anonymity.

2013 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor, RB
Defensive Player of the Year: Devonte Fields, TCU, DL
Newcomer of the Year: Charles Sims, West Virginia, RB

No problem with Lache Seastrunk as Big 12 Offensive MVP given his finish last year, but I do wonder if he'll get enough touches to achieve it. He's a 15-18 carries and 4 catches a game guy. Anything more than that over several games in a row, and you risk injury. How will that stack up next to the QB numbers put up by the starters at TCU, OSU, Tech, Texas, OU? And Josh Stewart could conceivably drop a 1400 yard, 12 TD receiving season.

Can Lache handle a 30 carry game, if required?

The media is selecting Fields as the Big 12 Defensive MVP despite being suspended for the first two games of the year and his head coach publicly calling him out for his offseason hijinks. Reliable CB Jason Verrett seems a safer choice.

WVU newcomer Charles Sims (quality RB transfer from UH) is a good choice for Newcomer of The Year, though possibly puzzling to Longhorn fans with the mistaken impression that returning WVU RB starter Andrew Buie is good after lighting us up in Austin. He's not. The holes were just that big. KSU JUCO Jake Waters is worth keeping an eye on.

Curious as to your thoughts....

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