After a monster junior season for the Texas Longhorns, linebacker Malik Jefferson earned Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors on Thursday, along with Ogbonnia Okoronkwo of the Oklahoma Sooners. League coaches vote on the award.
Four other Longhorns have earned recognition as the conference’s top defensive player, including Casey Hampton (2000), Derrick Johnson (2004), Brian Orakpo (2008), and Jackson Jeffcoat (2013).
Jefferson finished the regular season first on the team in tackles with 110 stops, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, six quarterback hurries. A semifinalist for the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, the Mesquite native had six games with double-digit tackles and currently ranks fourth nationally with 79 solo tackles.