Hatch Earns Second Team All-Big 12 Honors; Six Other Jayhawks Recognized
Dec. 7, 2011
IRVING, Texas – Kansas senior center Jeremiah Hatch picked up second team All-Big 12 honors here Wednesday as the conference office announced its annual awards as voted on by the league coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Six other Kansas players were recognized by the Big 12 panel of coaches as seniors LB Steven Johnson and TE Tim Biere, juniors S Bradley McDougald, DE Toben Opurum and OL Duane Zlatnick and sophomore P/K Ron Doherty each were named honorable mention honorees. All six, in addition to Hatch, were honored for the first time in their careers.
Hatch started all 12 games at center for Kansas and finished his Jayhawk career with 47 career starts on the offensive line. The Dallas native was the anchor of the KU line that averaged 159.4 yards rushing per game. He ranked third on the team with 97 knockdowns from his center position.
Hatch is the first Jayhawk to earn first or second team honors by the league coaches since WR Dezmon Briscoe was named to the first team and WR Kerry Meier was tabbed second team following the 2009 season.
Johnson finished the 2011 season as the leading tackler in the Big 12 with 124 stops, including 66 solo tackles. He is the first Kansas player to lead the conference in tackles since Roger Robben led the Big 8 with 146 tackles in 1989. Johnson, a Media, Pa., native, also 6.0 TFLs for minus 10 yards and recorded two forced fumbles, two pass breakups, one interception, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry.
Biere, an Omaha native, finished his Kansas career with an outstanding senior season. He ranked second on the team and amongst Big 12 tight ends with 27 receptions for 322 yards and two TDs. He turned in a career-best performance in KU’s game at Oklahoma State, recording seven catches for 93 yards and a TD.
McDougald really turned his game up a notch during the second half of the 2011 season and finished second to Johnson with 90 tackles for Kansas. He led the team with two interceptions, one of which he returned 57 yards for a TD against Missouri. The Dublin, Ohio native added five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one sack. He finished the season ranked 11th in the Big 12 in total tackles and tied for fifth in the league with 68 solo stops.
Zlatnik also started every game at right guard for the Jayhawks and has made 20 consecutive starts. He assisted in guiding the Jayhawk offense to an average 159.4 yards rushing per game. He was named the team’s offensive player of the week following the McNeese State contest, when the Jayhawks racked up a season-best 301 yards on the ground. Zlatnik led the KU line with 148 knockdowns on the season.
Doherty served as the team’s punter all season and handled field goal duties during the final month of the season. He ranked second in the league with a 42.78 average on his 64 punts and placed 15 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. Doherty also connected on 3-of-4 field goal attempts, including a season-long of 37 yards against Baylor.