On Friday morning, the Associated Press named five Texas Longhorns to the 2018 All-Big 12 team, including four first-team selections.
Senior cornerback Kris Boyd, senior defensive end Charles Omenihu, junior center Zach Shackelford, and freshman safety Caden Sterns were each honored as first-team selections. Senior linebacker Gary Johnson was named as a second-team selection.
5️⃣ Longhorns named AP All-Big 12!#ThisIsTexas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/QOEOtaGJGv— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) December 7, 2018
Also the newly-minted Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, Omenihu totaled 43 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks as part of a career-best 2018 campaign. After bypassing the opportunity to enter the NFL Draft, Omenihu has emerged as the most imposing force along the Longhorns defensive line, and can be heralded as the top interior talent in the Big 12, as evident by his Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year award.
Boyd has enjoyed a breakout campaign of his own. Despite various struggles throughout, Boyd tallied 63 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one interception, and a career-best 16 pass breakups.
A budding star in the defensive backfield, Sterns’ debut season saw the former top-ranked safety prospect take home honors as the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year after notching 62 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, four interceptions, and four pass breakups. Sterns’ four interceptions is tied for the fourth-best effort nationally and is tied for second in the Big 12.
A third-year starter at center, Shackelford remains a key cog in what proved to be a much-improved Longhorns offensive line under first-year offensive line coach Herb Hand. Shackelford started in nine games this season, and saw action in Texas’ road win over Kansas State as well.
Johnson, Texas’ lone second-team selection, led the Longhorns with 85 tackles. Johnson also proved to be a force behind the line of scrimmage, totaling 15.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and hurrying the quarterback eight times, which is a team-best effort.