Armstrong, Smithson highlight Big 12 coaches awards
DL – Dorance Armstrong Jr.**
DB – Fish Smithson
OL – Hakeem Adeniji
OL – D’Andre Banks
ONofY – LaQuvionte Gonzalez
DB/DFrofY – Mike Lee
P – Cole Moos
WR – Steven Sims Jr.
DL – Daniel Wise
PK – Matthew Wyman
FB – Michael Zunica
** Unanimous selection
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., and senior safety Fish Smithson were recognized as First Team honorees as the Big 12 Conference awards were announced Wednesday. Armstrong, who was a unanimous selection, and Smithson led the way as Kansas football had 11 members pick up all-conference honors as voted on by the league coaches.
After picking up first team honors from the Associated Press and ESPN.com on Tuesday, Armstrong became Kansas’ first unanimous selection by the league coaches since the Big 12’s inception in 1996. Additionally, Kansas’ 11 selections marked the most for the program since 14 Jayhawks were recognized in 2007. Seven of KU’s 11 honorees will return to the field for Kansas in 2017.
A Houston, Texas native, Armstrong had one of the best seasons of any defender in the Big 12 as he turned in a league-leading 20.0 tackles-for-loss. His 20 TFLs rank third best in KU single-season history and ranked fifth in the FBS in 2016. Armstrong posted 10 sacks, which ranks second in the Big 12 and 18th in the NCAA. For the season, Armstrong recorded 56 total tackles, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and five quarterback hurries to go along with his sacks and TFLs.
Smithson, who earned second team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press on Tuesday, is the first Jayhawk safety to pick up first team honors from the Big 12 coaches since Darrell Stuckey achieved the award in 2008. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Smithson led KU in tackles for the second-straight season with 93 total stops. He also led the Jayhawks and ranked third in the Big 12 with four interceptions. Smithson collected seven pass breakups to go along with his four picks and was also credited with two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 3.5 TFLs and 1.0 sack.
In addition to Armstrong and Smithson, KU had nine different players earn honorable mention nods. Two offensive linemen picked up honors in freshman Hakeem Adeniji and senior D’Andre Banks, while other offensive players to receive the recognition were sophomore wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., and senior fullback Michael Zunica.
On defense, freshman safety Mike Lee and sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise were named honorable mention. Wise picked up first team honors from ESPN.com and was tabbed a second team all-conference member by the Associated Press.
KU had two specialists recognized as junior punter Cole Moos and senior kicker Matthew Wyman both received honorable mention nods.
In addition, Lee received honorable mention honors for the Defensive Freshman of the Year award, while junior wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez was sited for honorable mention honors for the Offensive Newcomer of the Year award.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.