NORMAN â€” Saturday, the writers' choice for Big 12 defensive player of the year will square off against the pick made by the league's coaches.
A day after the coaches named Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara their player of the year, the Big 12 writers announced Wednesday that Oklahoma defensive end Jeremy Beal was theirs.
In a close race, Beal received nine of the 20 votes from The Associated Press' panel. Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David got six votes, Texas A&M's Von Miller got four and Amukamara had one.
Beal leads the Big 12 with 18 1/2 tackles for loss and is tied for second, behind only Miller, with 8 1/2 sacks. He's the first Sooner to record at least 7 1/2 sacks in three straight seasons and is the NCAA's active leader in career tackles for loss.
"The guy is the absolute best. ... He just consistently makes plays. We stood him up and put him in a different position last week because of all (Oklahoma State's) four wide receiver sets," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said of his sixth different player to win top defensive honors since 2000. "He took to it, he's out there playing cornerback half the time. The guy can do anything."