Alex Okafor Named Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player Of The Year, Three Other 'Horns Named To First Team

Mar 3 2012; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive end Alex Okafor (80) during spring practice at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

Leading up to the Big 12 Media Days next week, the conference released the preseason selections on Wendnesday, as chosen by the media. For the Longhorns, the selection of senior defensive end Alex Okafor as the preseason Big 12 Defense Player of the Year, presumably beating junior teammate defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and Kansas State's Arthur Brown, the former five-star who stars at linebacker for Bill Snyder.

Newcomer West Virginia landed quarterback Geno Smith atop the list of Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year vote-getters, as he beat out Oklahoma senior quarterback Landry Jones, who notably struggled late in the 2011 season after the injury to favorite target Ryan Broyles. Incoming freshman Trey Metoyer, the former Whitehouse star who spent a year at a prep school, was tabbed as the Newcomer of the Year.

Other than Okafor, three other Longhorns made the preseason All-Big 12 team -- running back Malcolm Brown, the sole offensive representative, senior safety Kenny Vaccaro, and junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. Notable in his absence is cornerback Carrington Byndom, considered by many to be the top current cover corner in the league. Or maybe that's mostly just among Longhorn fans at this point. Oklahoma State's Brodrick Brown, a senior, and Kansas State's Nigel Malone, also a senior, earned the nods at the position, respectively.

Interestingly enough, as a result of disciplinary action taken by the team for the arrests of Vaccaro and Okafor, the Longhorns are not taking any of their preseason selections to Media Days.

The conference will release Preseason Big 12 Poll will be released on Thursday. And then we'll have more meaningless things to talk about. Woo, offseason!

For your sanity, please be aware that the football season is now just under 45 days away.

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