Smithson and Schadler Honored by Phil Steele Magazine
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Phil Steele Magazine tabbed Kansas junior safety Fish Smithson and redshirt freshman kick returner Ryan Schadler for postseason All-Big 12 honors the publication announced Thursday. Smithson picked up second team honors, while Schadler was named to the third team.
Smithson, a Baltimore, Maryland, native, made an immediate impact in his first season as a starter for the KU defense. Voted a team captain by his peers prior to the 2015 season starting, he turned in one of the top seasons in school history by a Jayhawk defensive back.
Smithson concluded his junior campaign as the top tackler in the Big 12 Conference with 111 total tackles and also led the NCAA in solo tackles averaging 7.9 per game. He finished the 2015 campaign ranked 13th in the country in total tackles at 10.1 per contest.
Smithson recorded his sixth-consecutive game with 10 or more tackles in the Jayhawks’ season finale against Kansas State (Nov. 28) and became the first Jayhawk as far back as 1990 to accomplish that feat (10, TTU; 10, OSU; 10, OU; 13, UT; 12, TCU & 11, KSU). Smithson was the only defensive back in the country to post 10 or more tackles in six-straight games.
Schadler, a Hesston, Kansas, native, put his skills on display from the very start as he took the first kickoff return of his career to the house. Schadler sprinted his way to a 91-yard return for a touchdown in KU’s season-opener against South Dakota State.
On the year, Schadler ranked fifth in the Big 12 in kick return average at 22.7 yards per return. He tallied 750 yards on 33 kickoff returns. His 33 returns rank fourth in KU single-season history, while his 750 yards sit at sixth on the KU all-time kickoff return yards chart.
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