Oklahoma is widely considered the Big 12 Conference favorite entering 2014, but you might not know it judging from the media’s preseason All-Big 12 football team.
Four Sooners — offensive tackle Daryl Williams, kicker Michael Hunnicutt, linebacker Eric Striker and cornerback Zack Sanchez — earned spots on the team, which was released Wednesday morning by the conference. Baylor and Kansas State each had more representatives than OU with seven and five, respectively.
No Oklahoma State players were named to the All-Big 12 team, although incoming junior-college transfer Tyreek Hill was named as the conference’s preseason Newcomer of the Year.
The selections highlight just how lacking Oklahoma is when it comes to proven, big-time offensive playmakers, and just how low expectations are for the Cowboys, who lost veteran playmakers such as Clint Chelf, Josh Stewart and Justin Gilbert off last year’s 10-win team.
But Hill, a transfer from Garden City Community College in Kansas, has generated lots of excitement among the Oklahoma State faithful. He enrolled at OSU in January and immediately made his name known with the Cowboys track team, winning the 200 meters at the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships.
The speedy Hill caught 32 passes for 532 yards and six touchdowns last season at Garden City, while also carrying the ball 101 times for 659 yards and five scores.
Striker, a junior linebacker, enters the 2014 season among the best players on the team and is regarded as one of the nation’s elite pass rushers. He led the Sooners with 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2013. He’s been listed on the preseason watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy and the Bednarik, Butkus and Lombardi awards.