Following the 5-7 campaign that saw the Longhorns fall short of the six wins needed to make a bowl game, Texas failed to place a single player on the All-Big 12 first team released on Wednesday, though senior fullback Alex De La Torre and senior linebacker Peter Jinkens did receive recognition on the second team (the full list is here).
59 players were named to the All-Big 12 first and second teams. Two (a second-team FB and LB) came from the supposed talent-laden Longhorns.— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) December 9, 2015
Despite the disappointing nature of that reality, the two former role players emerged as key contributors this season.
De La Torre was a revelation as a lead blocker, especially in the 18 Wheeler package, and added an element of physicality to the Texas running game that was extremely beneficial. Replacing him will be difficult for the Horns next season.
And Jinkens was the team's leader in tackles (71), tackles for loss (9.5), and sacks (6.5), despite missing the final game of the season after tearing his ACL. A spot starter at various points throughout his career, Jinkens emerged as a team leader and played the best football of his career down the stretch.
A number of players also received honorable mention -- Davante Davis (DB), Michael Dickson (P), Holton Hill (DB), Desmond Jackson (DL), Malik Jefferson (LB), Daje Johnson (KR/PR), Hassan Ridgeway (DL), Charlie Strong (CoY), Duke Thomas (DB), Patrick Vahe (OL), and Connor Williams (OL).
On the positive side for Texas, note that six of those 11 players are freshmen and left tackle Connor Williams was probably underrated for the work that he did as one of the best freshman left tackles in college football. If those players can keep developing, they should appear again on future versions of these lists.