Post-Season Honors Piling In For Horns

Offensive lineman <B>Derrick Dockery </B>was named an All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and is one of 10 Longhorns named to the coaches&#146; All-Big 12 Conference team. League coaches also named DT <B>Rodrique Wright </B>the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, becoming the third Texas player in four years (<B>Derrick Johnson</B>, <B>Cory Redding</B>) to earn the distinction.

The 6-6, 345-pound Dockery has started 30 games during his career and did not give up a single sack this season. The senior earned six starts at guard and six at tackle when injuries thinned the offensive line throughout the season. Texas has had at least one offensive lineman on the FWAA All-American squad (which only selects a first-team) in four of head coach Mack Brown’s five seasons. Overall, Dockery is the 19th Longhorn lineman selected to the FWAA team.

Joining Dockery on the first-team All-Big 12 squad are senior CB Rod Babers, sophomore LB Derrick Johnson, senior DE Cory Redding and junior SE Roy Williams. Junior CB Nathan Vasher is the only Texas player selected to the league’s second team, while senior QB Chris Simms and sophomore RB Cedric Benson were listed on the third team. Honorable Mention All-Big 12 includes FL B.J. Johnson and OT Robbie Doane.

Last week, Redding was named one of the four finalists for the Lombardi Award honoring the nation’s outstanding lineman, with the award ceremony slated for 6 p.m., December 11 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Texas athletic officials reports that tickets for the Lombardi Trophy Dinner and Awards Ceremony "were going fast" but can be purchased by calling (713) 942-1209. Redding is the first Longhorn named a Lombardi semi-finalist since Tony DeGrate won the award in 1984 and is also a semi-finalist for the Hendricks Award. The senior led the defense with 20 TFLs, 36 QB pressures and 7.5 sacks. He ranks third on UT’s all-time tackles-for-loss list at 54.

Babers has started 37 games in his career and tallied a personal-best 42 tackles this season. The Thorpe Award (recognizing the nation’s best defensive back) semi-finalist also contributed two interceptions and 20 pass breakups.

Johnson followed his 2001 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year campaign when he became the team’s second-leading tackler (110 total, 71 solo) as a sophomore. The Butkus Award semi-finalist also added three interceptions, five pass breakups and 10 TFLs.

Williams, meanwhile, simply rewrote the school’s record book for receivers even though he was hampered half the season with a hamstring injury. The Biletnikoff Award (presented to the nation’s outstanding receiver) semi-finalist recorded a school record 11 touchdowns, a school record four consecutive 100-yard games, and has caught a pass in a school-record 33 consecutive games. This season he became just the school’s third 1,000-yard receiver (joining Wane McGarity and Kwame Cavil).


Horns Digest Top Stories