Two seniors look poised to lead the Texas Longhorns defense, as the media selected defensive end Breckyn Hager and cornerback Kris Boyd as members of the Preseason All-Big 12 team, the conference revealed on Wednesday.
Hager had four starts among his 13 games played last season, ultimately compiling 23 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks, four pass breakups, three QB hurries and a fumble recovery while earning honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition. The Big 12 Media Days representative is expected to have a big-time final season after he was named a freak athlete by NFL.com and Bruce Feldman.
A second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2017, Boyd started 12 of 13 games on the season, finishing fifth on the team with 57 tackles, while totaling two interceptions and 15 pass breakups, the most for a Longhorn since 2011. Boyd emerged as a lockdown cornerback late in the season and is expected to step into a bigger leadership role this season as the team’s best defensive back.
West Virginia quarterback Will Grier was named the Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, while TCU defensive end Ben Banogu earned the same recognition defensively. Media members also selected Oklahoma defensive back Bradley Radley-Hines as Newcomer of the Year.
The conference will release the preseason media poll on Thursday in advance of Big 12 Media Days from July 16-17 in Frisco.