That terrific brand of football that is the Big 12 saw some terrific football indeed in 2021. As such, today we get to the individual honors for the 2021 college football season in our All-Big 12 Team.
In a year marred by the news of Texas and Oklahoma leaving for the SEC, the Big 12 season was a fun one. With a shift in the balance of power, the Big 12 actually pulled off the “addition by subtraction” mantra by adding a perennial Group of Five power (UCF) and the two representatives of the AAC Championship Game (Cincinnati, Houston) to replace OU and UT. In fact, they actually brought in a College Football Playoff team in the Bearcats, as the Big 12 seems committed to putting forth excellent football week in and week out.
All-Big 12 Football Team Honors for 2021
The Big 12 is destined for some fine performances in 2022 after the breakout of several players. Still, it was an old-school way of business that ultimately won the conference. Baylor and Oklahoma State utilized strong defenses to get the job done and represent the conference in the title game. Baylor even utilized their defense in multiple goal-line stands to outlast the Cowboys to win the Big 12.
It’s important to note that these are awards and honors from Pro Football Network for each individual’s prowess on the field this season. This is in no way a projection of their NFL Draft status nor a report on the actual conference awards that have already been handed out. These honors are from Pro Football Network, as judged upon by our team of college football analysts.
Let’s get to the overall awards.
- Big 12 Coach of the Year: Dave Aranda, Baylor
- Big 12 Player of the Year: Jalen Pitre, Baylor
- Big 12 Newcomer of the Year: Xavier Worthy, Texas
- Big 12 Game of the Year: Kansas vs. Texas, Week 11
All-Big 12 Offense
As much as they were known for defense in 2021, the Big 12 still saw some incredible offensive performances this season. Here are the top honors.
- Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Breece Hall, Iowa State
- Big 12 Quarterback of the Year: Gerry Bohanon, Baylor
- Big 12 Running Back of the Year: Breece Hall, Iowa State
- Big 12 Wide Receiver of the Year: Xavier Worthy, Texas
- Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year: Connor Galvin, Baylor
- Big 12 Offensive Line of the Year: Baylor
- Big 12 Offensive Rookie of the Year: Caleb Williams, Oklahoma
Breece Hall once again dominated the action and set records in the process. Iowa State had a disappointing few games, but Hall rarely left the field without leaving his mark. In fact, he set the new FBS record for consecutive games with a touchdown at 24, leaving his mark on every contest for essentially the past two years. He’s a dynamic dual-threat running back who offers everything anyone could ever want in a backfield mate.
It’s hard to fathom that Baylor had a quarterback controversy back in August. Gerry Bohanon won the job over Jacob Zeno and never looked back. Though his replacement carried them to the Big 12 Championship Game victory, the Bears wouldn’t have made it there without Bohanon.
And then there are the rookies: Caleb Williams and Xavier Worthy. The latter exploded onto the scene and put the world on notice — Worthy caught 61 passes for a conference-leading 981 yards and 12 touchdowns. Williams proved his worth as a dual-threat himself, taking the starting quarterback job once owned by a Heisman favorite in Spencer Rattler.
Baylor’s offensive line is the best in the country
Forget just best in the Big 12, the Bears’ offensive line unit is the best in the country. They earn the top spot here as their left tackle also earns the top individual honor. From left to right, this unit carried the Bears to victory after victory in 2021. LT Connor Galvin, LG Xavier Newman-Johnson, C Jacob Gall, RG Grant Miller, and RTs Gavin Byers and Khalil Keith formed the top offensive line in America.
Baylor utilized this impressive offensive line to the Big 12 Championship. The hiring of offensive line coach Eric Mateos proved to be potentially the best new coordinator hire of the 2021 offseason. Mateos turned around a Baylor offensive line that was pegged to rank last in the conference by multiple outlets at the season’s start. They commanded respect every game and earned it with a dominant 2021 campaign.
First-Team All-Big 12 Offense
QB: Caleb Williams, Oklahoma
RB: Breece Hall, Iowa State
RB: Bijan Robinson, Texas
WR: Xavier Worthy, Texas
WR: Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
WR: Tay Martin, Oklahoma State
TE: Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
FLEX: Winston Wright Jr., West Virginia
LT: Connor Galvin, Baylor
LG: Xavier Newman-Johnson, Baylor
C: Jacob Gall, Baylor
RG: Doug Nester, West Virginia
RT: Derek Schweiger, Iowa State
Second-Team All-Big 12 Offense
QB: Gerry Bohanon, Baylor
RB: Abram Smith, Baylor
RB: Jaylen Warren, Oklahoma State
WR: Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech
WR: Tyquan Thornton, Baylor
WR: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
TE: Ben Sims, Baylor
FLEX: Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
LT: Cole Birmingham, Oklahoma State
LG: Trevor Downing, Iowa State
C: Zach Frazier, West Virginia
RG: Chris Murray, Oklahoma
RT: Khalil Keith, Baylor
Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Offense
QB: Brock Purdy, Iowa State
RB: Leddie Brown, West Virginia
RB: Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
WR: Quentin Johnston, TCU
WR: Kwamie Lassiter II, Kansas
WR: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia
TE: Jeremiah Hall, Oklahoma
FLEX: Jadon Haselwood, Oklahoma
LT: Obinna Eze, TCU
LG: Josh Sills, Oklahoma State
C: Colin Newell, Iowa State
RG: Grant Miller, Baylor
RT: Tyrese Robinson, Oklahoma
All-Big 12 Defense
The Big 12 hasn’t been known for defense in recent years. Yet, in 2021, defense won the conference championship as Baylor and Oklahoma State rode their defenses into Austin. Here are the top individual awards on the defensive side of the ball.
- Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Pitre, Baylor
- Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
- Big 12 Linebacker of the Year: Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State
- Big 12 Defensive Back of the Year: Jalen Pitre, Baylor
- Big 12 Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jacobee Bryant, CB, Kansas
- Big 12 Defensive Line of the Year: Oklahoma
- Big 12 Secondary of the Year: Baylor
Without a doubt, Jalen Pitre was the most valuable player on the defensive side of the ball across the entire conference. It didn’t matter where he lined up, Pitre just produced. It helped that he literally lined up all over the defense and produced at just about every position imaginable. Pitre plays a much bigger game than his stature and commands every opposing offense’s attention.
Felix Anudike-Uzomah actually toed the FBS record with 6 sacks in a game only to have the record taken away due to a technicality. However, we here at Pro Football Network completely recognize those 6 sacks despite the ball being fumbled forward past the line of scrimmage. Anudike-Uzomah was unblockable at times, recording a whopping 11 sacks that should have led the conference at 13 total. Instead, he’ll have to settle for third in sacks but first in forced fumbles with 6.
Baylor’s secondary key to their success
The Bears not only utilized an emergent offense, but they also relied heavily on their defense to win the Big 12. A huge portion of that was their prowess in the secondary.
With Pitre leading the way and JT Woods patrolling the rest of the field, this allowed the Bears to play their cornerbacks on an island. That worked out to their advantage as Al Walcott and Raleigh Texada each recorded multiple plays on the ball and impressed seemingly every week.
Likewise, Jacobee Bryant made his name known for Kansas, as the youngster recorded 2 interceptions this season. Bryant also had a pick-six in the Week 11 thriller against Texas.
Now, on to the individual teams for the top mention at each position in the Big 12.
First-Team All-Big 12 Defense
EDGE: Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
EDGE: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
DI: Dante Stills, West Virginia
DI: Jaylon Hutchings, Texas Tech
LB: Josh Chandler-Semedo, West Virginia
LB: Devin Harper, Oklahoma State
LB: Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State
CB: Al Walcott, Baylor
CB: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
CB: D.J. Graham, Oklahoma
S: Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma State
S: Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, Texas Tech
FLEX: Jalen Pitre, Baylor
Second-Team All-Big 12 Defense
EDGE: Brock Martin, Oklahoma State
EDGE: Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
DI: Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma
DI: Akheem Mesidor, West Virginia
LB: Terrel Bernard, Baylor
LB: Colin Schooler, Texas Tech
LB: Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma
CB: Jacobee Bryant, Kansas
CB: Daryl Porter Jr., West Virginia
CB: Julius Brents, Kansas State
S: JT Woods, Baylor
S: Russ Yeast, Kansas State
FLEX: Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State
Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Defense
EDGE: Tyler Lacy, Oklahoma State
EDGE: Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa State
DI: Siaki Ika, Baylor
DI: Moro Ojomo, Texas
LB: DeMarvion Overshown, Texas
LB: Riko Jeffers, Texas Tech
LB: Daniel Green, Kansas State
CB: D’Shawn Jamison, Texas
CB: Raleigh Texada, Baylor
CB: Tanner McCalister, Oklahoma State
S: Delarrin Turner-Yell, Oklahoma
S: Greg Eisworth II, Iowa State
FLEX: Pat Fields, Oklahoma
Big 12 Special Teams
There were truly some special moments in the Big 12 on special teams this season. Notably, one of the nation’s top punters was in action, as were a duo of unstoppable kick returners.
- Big 12 Kicker of the Year: Andrew Mevis, Iowa State
- Big 12 Punter of the Year: Michael Turk, Oklahoma
- Big 12 Specialist of the Year: Malik Knowles, Kansas State
Iowa State’s Andrew Mevis missed just 2 of his 51 total kick attempts this year — and both of those came from at least 41 yards away. He was a perfect 31-of-31 on extra points and 9-of-9 on kicks inside 40 yards. He also nailed his only 2 field goals from 50+ yards and handled all the kickoff duties for the Cyclones.
Michael Turk was dominant, averaging a net punt of 45.3 yards, nailing 16 inside the opponent’s 20. While Malik Knowles was incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands. Knowles had 19 returns for an average of 33.3 yards per return and 2 kick-return touchdowns.
First-Team All-Big 12 Specialists
Kicker: Andrew Mevis, Iowa State
Kickoff Specialist: Tanner Brown, Oklahoma State
Punter: Michael Turk, Oklahoma
Kick Returner: Malik Knowles, Kansas State
Punt Returner: Trestan Ebner, Baylor
Special Teamer: Mason Cobb, Oklahoma State
Second-Team All-Big 12 Specialists
Kicker: Jonathan Garibay, Texas Tech
Kickoff Specialist: Trey Wolff, Texas Tech
Punter: Tom Hutton, Oklahoma State
Kick Returner: Winston Wright Jr., West Virginia
Punt Returner: D’Shawn Jamison, Texas
Special Teamer: Tyrique Matthews, Texas Tech
Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Specialists
Kicker: Gabe Brkic, Oklahoma
Kickoff Specialist: Andrew Mevis, Iowa State
Punter: Austin McNamara, Texas Tech
Kick Returner: Trestan Ebner, Baylor
Punt Returner: Kwamie Lassiter II, Kansas
Special Teamer: Bryan Mead, Oklahoma
Congratulations to all those players selected. For any questions regarding these selections or the process behind them, please ask on Twitter (@CamMellor).