STILLWATER — Five Oklahoma players and four Oklahoma State players were named to the preseason All-Big 12 team announced Wednesday, while OU receiver Trey Metoyer was tabbed as the conference’s preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Receiver Kenny Stills, offensive lineman Gabe Ikard, center Ben Habern, defensive lineman Jamarkus McFarland and safety Tony Jefferson were the Sooners named to the team voted on by media members who cover the conference. OSU was represented by running back Joseph Randle, offensive lineman Lane Taylor, cornerback Brodrick Brown and Quinn Sharp at both kicker and punter.
Metoyer, a freshman from Whitehouse, Texas, is expected to play a significant role this season for an OU receiving corps that must replace departed senior Ryan Broyles, as well as Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson, who were suspended indefinitely in May for violating team rules. Metoyer was a five-star prospect coming out of high school in 2011 before spending a year at Hargrave Military Academy because he had not yet qualified academically at OU.
Stills, a second-team All-Big 12 selection a season ago, was the Sooners’ second-leading receiver last season with 849 yards and eight touchdowns.
Ikard, who made the All-Big 12 first team in 2011, and Habern are expected to anchor the OU offensive line this season.
Jefferson, who has bounced between safety and linebacker during his career, ranked third on the team with 74 tackles in 2011 and led the Sooners with four interceptions. He is projected to play free safety this season.
McFarland, a senior defensive tackle, recorded 20 tackles (3.5 for loss) and 0.5 sacks last season.
Randle, a junior, was named to the All-Big 12 second team in 2011 after tallying 1,216 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns for the Cowboys last season.
Taylor is the most experienced player returning for OSU in 2012 with 36 career starts on the offensive line.
Brown, a senior, was an All-Big 12 first team selection in 2011 after he ranked second in the conference with five interceptions while also recording 15 pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries and 68 tackles.
Sharp, the reigning Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year, excelled as the Cowboys’ do-it-all kicker last season, averaging 46.3 yards per punt, connecting on 22 of 25 field goal attempts and booming 61 touchbacks.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was named the conference’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Texas defensive end Alex Okafor was pegged the Defensive Player of the Year.