🏈 Kansas Football Has 11 Honored on All-Big 12 Teams

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks had 11 players earn All-Big 12 recognition, led by three All-Big 12 First Team selections and Defensive Newcomer of the Year Austin Booker, the Big 12 Conference announced on Wednesday.

Booker, a sophomore defensive end, was joined on the All-Big 12 First Team by junior cornerback Cobee Bryant and senior offensive lineman Dominick Puni. Earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors were junior running back Devin Neal and senior safety Kenny Logan Jr., while All-Big 12 Honorable Mention recognized Lawrence Arnold (WR), Jason Bean (QB), Booker (DLoY), Mello Dotson (DB), Mason Fairchild (TE), Neal (OPoY), Mike Novitsky (OL), Puni (OLoY) and Jereme Robinson (DL).

In total, 11 Jayhawks received 15 All-Big 12 recognitions. This marks the fourth time in Big 12 history that Kansas has had at least three All-Big 12 First Team selections, including the first since 2018. It’s also the most All-Big 12 honorees since 2016, when Kansas also had 11 players selected to the teams.

Kansas received the honors after finishing the regular season with a record of 8-4 (5-4 Big 12) in its third year under head coach Lance Leipold. The eight wins are the most by a Kansas team since 2008 and the Jayhawks have secured a bowl berth for the second consecutive season.

Booker becomes the first Jayhawk named Defensive Newcomer of the Year since Isaiah Johnson in 2013 and he’s KU’s first defensive lineman named All-Big 12 First Team since Daniel Wise in 2018. The Greenwood, Indiana, native finished his first season at Kansas ranked third in the Big 12 with 8.0 sacks and was sixth in the league with 12.0 tackles for loss. Booker is tied for second on the team with 56 tackles, including 40 solo and 16 assists, while adding two forced fumbles and one pass breakup this season.

Bryant earns First Team All-Big 12 honors for the second consecutive season, becoming the first Kansas defensive back to earn first team honors in back-to-back seasons since Aqib Talib in 2006-07. The Evergreen, Alabama, native was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 25 after forcing, recovering and returning a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown against BYU, while also adding an interception in the contest. Bryant finished the regular season with 30 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, three interceptions and five pass breakups.

Puni picks up All-Big 12 recognition for the second straight season after receiving honorable mention in 2022. He started every game at left tackle this season and helped pave the way for KU’s rushing attack, which ranked fourth in the Big 12 by averaging 211.3 yards per game. The Jayhawks are fourth in the Big 12 in scoring offense, averaging 33.6 points per game, and fourth in sacks allowed with 15 this season. According to PFF, the St. Charles, Missouri, native did not allow any quarterback sacks in 745 snaps played and had a 90.5 grade in pass blocking, which ranked third among FBS tackles.

Neal became the third player in Kansas football history for rush for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons and earns All-Big 12 honors for the third time in his career. The hometown Lawrence, Kansas, native is fourth in the league with 1,209 yards and third with 15 touchdowns while averaging 100.8 yards per game on the ground. Neal has rushed for more than 100 yards six times in 12 games and his 16 total touchdowns this season are tied for second in school history. In the season finale at Cincinnati, he surpassed the 3,000-yard milestone for his career and he’s fifth in school history with 3,006 rushing yards and third with 32 career rushing touchdowns.

Logan becomes a four-time All-Big 12 honoree by adding his second team honors to three previous honorable mention selections. From St. Augustine, Florida, Logan has led the Jayhawks in tackles for four straight seasons, becoming the program’s all-time leader in tackles by a defensive back with 377. This season, Logan has recorded 86 tackles, including 56 solo stops and 30 assists, and has 6.0 tackles for loss, five pass breakups and one forced fumble. In KU’s win over BYU, Logan scored the second touchdown of his career on a 30-yard interception return. Logan’s 377 career tackles are eighth-most among active players in FBS football, most among safeties, and he leads all active player in FBS with 258 solo tackles in his career.

Arnold picks up his first All-Big 12 recognition after leading the Jayhawks with 38 receptions for 650 yards and three touchdowns this season. The DeSoto, Texas, native is seventh in the conference with an average of 17.1 yards per reception and ranks 13th in the league in receiving yards. For his career, Arnold ranks ninth in school history with 1,727 receiving yards and 12th with 115 receptions.

Bean earns his first All-Big 12 selection as a senior, giving Kansas an all-conference quarterback for the second straight season after not having one on the team since 2009. The Mansfield, Texas, native started 11 games in 2023, completing 105-of-171 (61.4%) passes for 1,681 yards and 12 touchdowns. On the ground, he added 259 yards and three touchdowns on 41 rushing attempts. In three seasons at Kansas, Bean has moved up to fourth in school history with 32 passing touchdowns and ninth in career passing yards with 4,213.

Dotson used a record-setting junior season to earn his first All-Big 12 selection. The Daytona Beach, Florida, native became the first player in Kansas Football history to return an interception for a touchdown in consecutive weeks when he accomplished the feat against Oklahoma (Oct. 28) and at Iowa State (Nov. 4). Dotson is tied for fourth in the league with four interceptions this season and his two touchdowns ranks second among players in the league. He’s also fourth in the league with 13 passes defended. With two interception returns for a touchdown, Dotson is tied for KU’s single-season and school record in that category.

Fairchild caps off his career in Lawrence with his second straight All-Big 12 recognition. The Andale, Kansas, native is a two-way threat, contributing both as a blocker and a pass catcher for the Jayhawk offense. This season, Fairchild has 25 receptions for 422 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 16.9 yards per reception. Fairchild ranks fourth in school history for receptions by a tight end with 80 for 1,082 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Novitsky becomes a three-time All-Big 12 selection while at Kansas after earning honorable mention in 2021 and second team in 2022. The Victor, New York, native has started all 37 games of his Jayhawk career at center, helping transform KU’s offensive line into one of the best in the conference. This season, Novitsky has helped pave the way for the Jayhawks rushing attack, which ranked fourth in the Big 12 at 211.3 yards per game, while allowing just 15 sacks as a unit.

Robinson picks up his first career All-Big 12 honor following a standout junior season on the defensive line. The Montgomery, Alabama, native has recorded 6.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, which both rank second on the team, while leading the Jayhawks with six quarterback hurries and six pass breakups. Robinson started all 12 games from his defensive end position and recorded 24 tackles, including 22 solo stops.

Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Austin Booker (DL)

All-Big 12 First Team
Austin Booker (DL)
Cobee Bryant (DB)
Dominick Puni (OL)

All-Big 12 Second Team
Devin Neal (RB)
Kenny Logan Jr. (DB)

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Lawrence Arnold (WR)
Jason Bean (QB)
Austin Booker (DLoY)
Mello Dotson (DB)
Mason Fairchild (TE)
Devin Neal (OPoY)
Mike Novitsky (OL)
Dominick Puni (OLoY)
Jereme Robinson (DL)