Yeager's All-Big 12 Team: Defense

Before the All-Big 12 team is announced today, Joe Yeager has his All-Big 12 defensive team selected.

Defensive Lineman: Devonte Fields (TCU)—Lord have mercy on future Big 12 quarterbacks; this true freshman was second in the league in sacks with nine. Lord have mercy on future NFL quarterbacks.


Defensive Lineman: Meshak Williams (Kansas State)—At the other end of the age spectrum is Wildcat senior Meshak Williams who tallied 9.5 quarterback hits to go along with 36 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.


Defensive Lineman: Kerry Hyder (Texas Tech)—This junior from Austin is the best defensive tackle in the Big 12. Like all great DTs, Hyder has a high-revving motor. If he can pack on another 10 pounds, Hyder will play well at the next level.


Defensive Lineman: Cleyon Lang (Iowa State)—Jake McDonough got much of the DT press for Iowa State, but Lang emerged from the shadows to have a superlative season. Combined, Lang and McDonough was the best defensive tackle tandem in the Big 12.


Linebacker: Eddie Lackey (Baylor)—The Bears finished the regular season with three straight wins. The reason for this hot streak was a dramatically improved defense. And Lackey catalyzed that improvement. He finished the season with 99 tackles, eight tackles for loss and four interceptions.


Linebacker: Joel Hasley (TCU)—Hasley was a complete unknown before the season started, but after leading the conference's best run defense in tackles, he's obscure no more. Fellow backer Kenny Cain was almost Hasley's equal.


Linebacker: Arthur Brown (Kansas State)—This transfer from Miami received much preseason ink, and he lived up to it. Brown plays the run and the pass equally well.


Cornerback: Aaron Colvin (Oklahoma)—The Big 12 is loaded with premium cornerbacks, and Colvin is one of the very best. His athleticism is beyond amazing.


Cornerback: Jason Verrett (TCU)—Junior college transfer Verrett turned into arguably the Big 12's most feared cornerback. The very definition of a "lock-down corner," Verrett led the conference with six interceptions.


Safety: Cody Davis (Texas Tech)—There may not have been a better tackler in the Big 12 than Davis. Without his tough, sure tackling in the open field, the Red Raider defense would have been a mess.


Safety: Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma)—The Sooners consistently produce the best secondary talent in college football, and Jefferson is a prime example. He plays like a linebacker and was second in the Big 12 with 113 tackles.


Punter: Kirby Van Der Kamp (Iowa State)—Van Der Camp didn't have an eye-popping yards per punt average, but nobody in America was better at nailing the coffin corner and getting great hang time. He has a deft foot.


Kicker: Quinn Sharp (Oklahoma State)—Sharp has a big-league leg. When his focus is on, he is money from well beyond 50 yards.


Kick Returner: Tyler Lockett (Kansas State)—The football playing Locketts are a fleet of rockets, and Tyler is the latest in the family arsenal. His 33 yards per return was untouchable.


Punt Returner: Justin Brown (Oklahoma)—Returning punts is a lost art, but it's one Justin Brown has mastered. His 13.6 yards per return was easily the best in the conference.

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