🏈 Jayhawks Well-Represented on Phil Steele All-Big 12 Teams

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football was well-represented on the 2022 Phil Steele All-Big 12 Teams, which was announced on Thursday, including nine individuals selected to the teams.

Among the Jayhawks on Phil Steele’s All-Big 12 teams are: Earl Bostick Jr. (Second Team, Offensive Line), Lonnie Phelps (Second Team, Defensive End), Cobee Bryant (Second Team, Cornerback), Jalon Daniels (Third Team, Quarterback), Devin Neal (Third Team, Running Back), Mason Fairchild (Third Team, Tight End), Mike Novitsky (Third Team, Center), Dominick Puni (Third Team, Offensive Guard) and Kenny Logan Jr. (Third Team, Safety).

The honors come after Kansas clinched Bowl eligibility for the first time since the 2008 season. Head Coach Lance Leipold led the Jayhawks to a 6-6 (3-2 Big 12) record, Kansas’ best regular season record since 2008. Kansas is preparing to play Arkansas in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee on Dec. 28.

Earlier this season, nine Jayhawks were tabbed to the All-Big 12 Coaches poll, while Phelps and Bryant were named to the Associated Press All-Big 12 Second Team.

As a Super-Senior, Bostick helped anchor a KU offensive line by starting all 12 games and allowing just nine sacks, which was the seventh fewest in the country in 2022. According to PFF, Bostick allowed only one sack in 730 snaps. Bostick helped Kansas to the fifth best passing efficiency in the country, while averaging 7.01 yards per play, the fifth most in FBS in 2022.

In just his first season in a Jayhawk uniform, Phelps made his presence known with a team-high 7.0 sacks, which were tied for the second most in the Big 12 Conference this season. Phelps’ three sack performance marked the most sacks in a game by a Jayhawk since 2016, earning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance. Phelps registered 53 tackles, including 10.5 tackles-for-loss and one forced fumble.

Bryant’s sophomore campaign earned him All-Big 12 First Team honors, as voted on by the league coaches, as the cornerback from Evergreen, Alabama led the Jayhawks with three interceptions for 86 return yards and a game-clinching touchdown at West Virginia on Sept. 10. Bryant also had the sixth-most passes defended in the Big 12, along with a career-high 34 tackles and a forced fumble on the season. Bryant also added a blocked field goal return for a touchdown in Kansas’ season-opener against Tennessee Tech.

Despite missing four games due to injury, Daniels took the league by storm by leading Kansas to its first 5-0 start since the 2008 season. Daniels completed 115-of-175, completing 65.7 percent of his passes, for 1,470 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games played. Daniels was named the Walter Camp National FBS Offensive Player of the Week following his performance at Houston, while he was a four-time Manning Award Star of the Week and three-time Davey O’Brien Great 8 List honoree this season. Daniels also rushed for 404 yards and six touchdowns on 63 rushes in 2022.

In his sophomore season, Neal cracked the 1,000-yard barrier to become the 13th Jayhawk in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season. Neal’s 1,061 yards came on 171 attempts for nine touchdowns, while registering three 100-yard games in 2022. Neal’s combined 334 yards (224 rushing, 110 receiving), made him the first KU player in school history to accomplish such a feat. Neal ranked fifth in the Big 12 in rushing yards (1,061), third in yards per carry (6.20) and sixth in rushing touchdowns (9).

A junior from Andale, Kansas, Fairchild caught a career-high 29 receptions for 363 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. Fairchild’s five touchdown receptions were the most by a Big 12 tight end this season. Fairchild had a career day at Oklahoma on Oct. 15, compiling 106 yards and two touchdowns to become the first KU tight end since Jimmay Mundine in 2014 with over 100 receiving yards in a game.

Kansas’ anchor to the offensive line, Novitsky started all 12 games at center for KU in 2022. In 745 snaps, Novitsky didn’t allow a single sack, while allowing only two quarterback hits. Novitsky led the Jayhawk line to allow just nine sacks, which is the seventh fewest in the nation in 2022. In two years at center, Novitsky and the Kansas offensive line has allowed just 25 sacks, which is the third fewest nationwide.

A newcomer from Central Missouri, Puni filled in the KU offensive line by starting all 12 games at guard, while bolstering Kansas’ offensive attack. Puni helped Kansas to allow just nine sacks in 2022, which ranked 7th in FBS this season. According to PFF, Puni didn’t allow a single sack in 750 snaps in 2022, while grading out with a 75.7 in pass block situations, highest rating on KU’s offensive line.

Kansas’ leading tackler with 96 to his credit, Logan ranked fifth in the Big 12 Conference in tackles, while his 96 takedowns were the most by a Big 12 defensive back this season. Logan is the first Jayhawk since 2012-14 to lead the team in tackles in three-straight seasons (Ben Heeney). Logan also added two interceptions, four pass breakups, one tackle-for-loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. Logan was the first player in the country this season to register 14 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 interception in the same game.

Phil Steele All-Big 12 Teams

Second Team

Earl Bostick Jr. (Offensive Line)

Lonnie Phelps (Defensive End)

Cobee Bryant (Cornerback)

Third Team

Jalon Daniels (Quarterback)

Devin Neal (Running Back)

Mason Fairchild (Tight End)

Mike Novitsky (Center)

Dominick Puni (Offensive Guard)

Kenny Logan Jr. (Safety)