🏈 KU Has 12 Recognized on Phil Steele’s All-Big 12 Preseason Teams
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas had 12 players selected to the Phil Steele’s 2023 Preseason All-Big 12 Football teams, highlighted by three first team and three second team selections.
Earning a spot on the first team were running back Devin Neal, cornerback Cobee Bryant and safety Kenny Logan Jr., while quarterback Jalon Daniels and offensive linemen Mike Novitsky and Dominick Puni claimed a spot on second team. Tight end Mason Fairchild and long snapper Luke Hosford were named to the third team, and four Jayhawks closed out the awards as wide receiver Lawrence Arnold, defensive tackle Devin Phillips, linebacker Craig Young and kicker Seth Keller were picked on the fourth team.
On the first team, Neal earns a preseason honor after leading the Jayhawks with 1,090 rushing yards and nine touchdowns during his sophomore season, becoming the 13th Jayhawk in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season. Bryant was KU’s lone First Team All-Big 12 selection in 2022 after a sophomore season in which he finished with three interceptions, nine pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Logan was KU’s leading tackler in 2022, finishing with 106 tackles in addition to two interceptions and five pass breakups.
Daniels highlights KU’s second team selections following a breakthrough campaign in 2022 in which he passed for 2,014 yards and 18 touchdowns, including a record-setting performance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. In KU’s first bowl game since 2008, Daniels went 37-of-55 for 544 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 25 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Novitsky and Puni anchored the offensive line in front of Daniels, and the Jayhawks ranked No. 7 in the country last season with 12 sacks allowed.
Earning third team honors were Fairchild, who finished his junior season with 35 receptions for 443 yards and six touchdowns, and Hosford, who has been KU’s primary snapper for each of the past two seasons. Two of the Jayhawks’ fourth team selections are returners. Arnold led the Jayhawks with 716 receiving yards last season, averaging 16.3 yards per reception with four touchdowns, while Young was KU’s third-leading tackler, totaling 60 stops in 2022 with 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and one interception. The other two on fourth team are newcomers, with Phillips joining the Jayhawks from Colorado State while Keller transferred in from Texas State.
The Jayhawks return 17-of-22 starters from the 2022 team, which experienced a breakthrough season as it played in the program’s first bowl game since 2008 with an appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Head coach Lance Leipold led the Jayhawks to its first 5-0 start since 2009 and KU played in front of three sellout crowds at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. For the first time, Lawrence was the site of ESPN’s College Gameday on Oct. 8, 2022 as the Jayhawks hosted TCU.
Kansas will host seven games at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium during the 2023 season, beginning on Friday, Sept. 1, against Missouri State. Other home opponents for the Jayhawks include Illinois, BYU, UCF, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Kansas State.