The Texas Longhorns landed four players on the All-Big 12 First Team released Wednesday by the conference. Senior offensive guard Trey Hopkins was the only offensive representative for the 'Horns, while senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, junior linebacker Jordan Hicks, and junior cornerback Quandre Diggs represent the Texas defense on the list.
Of those selections, Hopkins, Jeffcoat, and Diggs mostly seem like no brainers, but the pick of Hicks snubbed more productive players like the Baylor linebacker corps of Bryce Hager and Eddie Lackey, and also speaks to a number of departures around the league, as well as the disappointing junior seasons turned in by the Oklahoma State duo of Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey. Clearly, the media believe that Hicks will live up to his vast potential that he has never quite reached for an extended period of time in Austin because of the lack of available playing time early in his career and the hip injury last season, among other nagging pains that have limited him.
And while it was no surprise to see TCU sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields earn the nod as the Defensive Player of the Year after his breakout freshman season, the pick of Baylor junior running back Lache Seastrunk revealed just how much the media believes he can continue building on the monster second half last season that has led into something of a dark horse Heisman candidacy this season. Those silly Sooners would probably still rather have senior Damien Williams over Seastrunk, though. Silly Sooners.
The media also picked Houston transfer running back Charles Sims as the Newcomer of the Year at West Virginia, though he'll have to battle with the star of last season's Texas-West Virginia game in junior Andrew Buie. With a number of transfers like wide receiver Justin McCay and quarterback Jake Heaps, several Kansas players will have opportunities to bring home that award at season's end.
As for Longhorns snubbed on the list? There really aren't any. All the talk last year was about senior cornerback Carrington Byndom getting disrespected entering his junior season, but the media ended up being right about that one after his inconsistent season. With only two wide receivers on the team, senior Texas wideout Mike Davis was the top returning receiver left off, but the media played that one pretty safe with Oklahoma State junior Josh Stewart and Texas Tech senior Eric Ward, both of whom put up better overall numbers than the Skyline product. Davis didn't help himself with his poor finish to the season, either, after dominating during stretches prior to that.
And the selection of TCU senior Casey Pachall over Texas junior David Ash as the quarterback on the team? Pachall has a better record of success, on the field, even if little of it has come against the Big 12 (only one game last season against cellar dweller Kansas) and he does have the off-the-field concerns that could well derail the final season of his career if he's not careful. Ash's inconsistency kept him from earning the nod, but if he's the type of player who feeds off of perceived snubs, there's certainly enough out there to get him fired up, though he doesn't seem like someone concerned about what anyone else says.
So, Burnt Orange Nation, any snubs that I'm missing? Further thoughts or exclamations?