Johnson Highlights KU's Five AP All-Big 12 Selections
Dec. 8, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas senior linebacker Steven Johnson has been named to the Associated Press All-Big 12 Second Team, while four of his teammates were tabbed honorable mention on the team which was released Thursday afternoon. The team is selected by a 20-member media panel, which covers the conference.
Along with Johnson, senior TE Tim Biere, junior OL Duane Zlatnik, junior WR/KR D.J. Beshears and sophomore P/K Ron Doherty were also named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Johnson, a 6-foot-1 linebacker from Media, Pa., 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 Eight with 146 tackles in 1989. Johnson also tallied 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, a 6-foot-4 tight end from Omaha, Neb. 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.
Beshears, a 5-foot-8 wide receiver/kick returner from Denton, Texas, led the Big 12 with 1,014 yards in kickoff returns, which also set the KU single-season record. Beshears recorded 1,587 all-purpose yards on the season, which included 437 yards receiving, 72 yards in punt returns and 64 yards rushing. He also scored four total touchdowns, including a catch in the final minute against Northern Illinois that gave KU a 45-42 victory.
Zlatnik, a 6-foot-4 offensive lineman from Rossville, Kan., started every game at right guard for the Jayhawks and has made 20 consecutive starts in his career. He helped the Jayhawk offense average 159.4 yards rushing per game. He was also 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.
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.