Dorance Armstrong Jr., voted Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Dorance Armstrong Jr., is collecting awards with the same force that he attacks opposing quarterbacks as the junior defensive end was voted the Big 12 Conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and was the lone unanimous selection on the defensive side of the ball for the All-Big 12 First Team the conference office announced Wednesday morning. The awards were voted on by a panel of media who covers the conference.
A Houston, Texas, native, Armstrong is the first Kansas player to be named a preseason individual award winner during its time playing in the Big 12 Conference. He is also the first Jayhawk to be voted a unanimous selection for the Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team.
Armstrong was a dominating defender during his sophomore campaign. He exploded onto the national radar after a breakthrough season in which he became Kansas football’s first unanimous All-Big 12 Conference First Team member. Injured in the preseason, Armstrong did not reach 100 percent until the third week of the season, when he began becoming a player opposing offenses game-planned around. In the remaining nine games Armstrong was among the best defensive players in the country, and finished 2016 ranked fifth in tackles-for-loss and 18th in sacks.
Armstrong tallied more sacks from his defensive end position than any Jayhawk has posted in the last 15 years with an even 10.0 – all in the final nine games. Showing versatility, Armstrong wreaked havoc in the backfield on a weekly basis by disrupting 20.0 plays before the opponent could reach the line-of-scrimmage in 2016. An incredibly quick rusher off of the edge, he brought the quarterback down in seven games, while recording six-straight contests with a sack.
Armstrong was at his best in the final five contests of his second season. Beginning at Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma, Armstrong gathered a then-career-high six tackles accompanied by 2.0 tackles-for-loss and a sack. The following week at West Virginia, he boasted six stops and two tackles in the backfield. An Iowa State ground game up the middle in the next game limited Armstrong to four tackles. The ensuing week Armstrong would win Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after his career-best performance against Texas. In KU’s 24-21 overtime victory, Armstrong notched 11 tackles, made 3.0 tackles behind the line-of-scrimmage and sacked the Longhorns quarterback twice to go along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. In the season finale against in-state rival K-State, Armstrong provided six stops – 3.0 of which were for negative yards.
In addition to Armstrong being voted Defensive Player of the Year, Oklahoma senior quarterback Baker Mayfield was tabbed the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, while West Virginia quarterback Will Grier was selected as the conference’s Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
The Big 12 media preseason poll will be released on Thursday, followed by the annual Big 12 Football Media Days to be conducted in Frisco, Texas on July 17-18. Both days will be televised live from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. CT on FS2 and other FOX Sports affiliates. Exclusive coverage from the event will also be available on the Big 12’s digital platforms – Big12Sports.com.
Armstrong, defensive tackle Daniel Wise, redshirt-junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., sophomore offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji and head coach David Beaty will represent the Jayhawks as they take part in Big 12 Football Media Days on Monday, July 17. Following along with the KU contingent on all their social accounts: Twitter: @KU_Football; Instagram: @kufootball, Snapchat: @KU_Football and Facebook: @KansasFootball.
Armstrong and his KU football squad will begin the 2017 season on Saturday, September 2 with a home game against Southeast Missouri State. The Jayhawks will also host nonconference opponent Central Michigan (Sept. 9/Family Weekend, Band Day).
Five Big 12 rivals will visit Lawrence, including West Virginia (Sept. 23/Jayhawks for a Cure), Texas Tech (Oct. 7/Homecoming, K-Club Weekend), Kansas State (Oct. 28/Sunflower Showdown), Baylor (Nov. 4/Salute to Service) and Oklahoma (Nov. 18/Senior Day, Youth Football Day).
Season tickets for the seven-game home schedule are now on sale for as low as $110. Pick 3 Flex Pack ticket packages are also available for the 2017 season. As part of the Pick 3 Flex Pack offer fans have the chance to pick any three home games on the 2017 schedule for one low price. Select a Tier 1 ticket for any three home games for $180 or a Tier 2 ticket to any three home games for just $150.
For additional information regarding Kansas football tickets contact the Kansas Sales Team by calling 800-34-HAWKS or in-person at the Allen Fieldhouse ticket office. Tickets can also be purchased via KUTickets.com.
Kansas Athletics will also be offering group discounts and unique fan experiences to Kansas football games for any group, business or organization of 15+. To inquire about bringing your group to Memorial Stadium, please contact the Group Sales Department at 785-864-6221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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