Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Mike Rose has been named the 2020 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
The Brecksville, Ohio native had himself a huge season for the Cyclones, as he finished with 81 tackles, which was third-most in the Big 12 Conference. He also was in the Top 10 in the league with 10.0 tackles for loss on the season, plus 1.5 sacks. Mike Rose’s four interceptions were tied for the most in the conference and were the most of any linebacker in the country.
Rose is a former three-star recruit, and the 55th-best linebacker recruit in America, who has developed into one of the best players in the Big 12 Conference.
During his freshman and sophomore seasons of 2018 and 2019, respectively, he was named an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection, before his breakout 2020 campaign.
Iowa State’s defense was one of the best in the Big 12 this season, ranking second in points allowed per game and second in rushing yards allowed per game.
Rose joins linebacker A.J. Klien who was named co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 (with OU’s Frank Alexander) as the only other Cyclones player to win the award.
Mike Rose’s teammate, running back Breece Hall, was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year on Thursday as well. Hall became the first Iowa State player since running back Troy Davis in 1996 to win the award.
Now, Rose and the Cyclones get ready for this weekend’s Big 12 Championship Game when they face the Oklahoma Sooners at 11:00 a.m. on ABC. Iowa State is trying to win its first conference title in football since 1912.
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