Baylor Bears

Which Big 12 Defensive Players Have the Best Chance to Win Awards This Season?

Kickoff is right around the corner and of course everyone is trying to predict how the season will go. From who is going to the playoff to who is winning the Heisman, everyone has a preseason list. As we wrap up the month of July, all the preseason college football lists are out. Several Big 12 players are on the watch lists, and I will share my thoughts on their chances of actually winning an award when the season ends. Since there are quite a few names in the conference on both sides of the ball, I went ahead and split them up. I did the offense earlier this week and not it’s time for the defensive players to shine.


Butkus Award (Best Linebacker)

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Oklahoma LB David Ugwoegbu: 10%

TCU LB Dee Winters: 15%

Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown: 15%

Thoughts: There has been some excellent linebackers to come out of this conference in the last few years. Last season we had players like Mike Rose (Iowa State), Terrel Bernard (Baylor), and Malcolm Rodrigues (Oklahoma State). Those guys are all gone as some new faces will take a step forward. Dee Winters and DeMarvion Overshown are talented players, but I don’t see them as top linebackers. If no one from that dominant trio last season could win I have a tough time seeing any of these three win it.


Jim Thorpe Award (Best Defensive Back)

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Kansas State DB Julius Brents: 20%

Kansas DB Kenny Logan Jr.: 20%

TCU DB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson: 50%

Thoughts: This is a solid group of players here and all three are more than deserving to be on this watch list. However, I think a few more Big 12 players probably should have made the list as well. I would give Julius Brents and Kenny Logan Jr. a slight chance at winning but the clear-cut favorite for me is TCU’s Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson. He’s a two-time first team All-Big 12 player and has been a lockdown corner ever since he stepped foot in Fort Worth. Without a doubt in my mind, he will be a finalist for this award at the end of the season.


Bednarik Award/Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player of the Year)

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Oklahoma State DL Collin Oliver: 20%

Baylor DT Siaki Ika: 20%

TCU DB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson: 30%

Iowa State DL Will McDonald IV: 45%

Kansas State DL Felix Anudike-Uzomah: 50%

Thoughts: These are basically the same award, so I went ahead and combined the two into one group here. There were quite a few names on both lists from the conference, so I decided to narrow it down to my top five players who have the best chance at winning. All five of these guys are capable of winning because they are some of the best defensive players not only in the conference but all of college football. If I had to pick a top three, I am going with Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Will McDonald IV, and Felix Anudike-Uzomah.

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