AP Names Seven Horns To All-Big 12 Team

The 2002 Associated Press All-Big 12 team released Thursday includes seven Longhorns on the annual honor roll.

The panel of 20 sportswriters picked offensive lineman Derrick Dockery as the only Texas player listed on the first team. (Wasn’t there some mention of offensive firepower at the start of the season?)

Dockery was named an All-American by the Football Writers Association of America last Monday. The 6-6, 345-pound Dockery has started 30 games during his career and (according to UT) did not give up a single sack in a season where the O-line gave up 35 sacks (a record for a Mack Brown coached team, eclipsing the mark set in 1999 when QB Major Applewhite ran for his life during the last three games of his sophomore season). Dockery earned six starts at guard and six at tackle when injuries thinned the offensive line throughout the season.

Teammates joining Dockery on the first team are senior CB Rod Babers, sophomore LB Derrick Johnson and senior DE Cory Redding. Each was named first-team All-Big 12 on the coaches’ list released earlier this week.

Redding is 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. 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.

"Cory is one of the best defensive ends we have ever coached," Brown said. "He is a great pass rusher and most people try to put two on him. He’s started every game here for three years. We’ll miss Cory Redding as much as any player we’ve ever coached."

Babers has started 37 games in his career and registered 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 with a 110-tackle (71 solo) performance (second-best on the team) as a sophomore. The Butkus Award semi-finalist also added three interceptions, five pass breakups and 10 TFLs.

However, junior SE Roy Williams (a first-team choice among Big 12 coaches) apparently did not impress the writers as much. The Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist was named to the league’s second team while Oklahoma State junior Rashaun Woods and Missouri senior Justin Gage were the AP’s choice for first-team receivers.

Junior CB Nathan Vasher was selected to the league’s second team, as was sophomore RB Cedric Benson.

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