Reggie Walker says K-State defense took a positive step against Texas
The Big 12 unveiled its preseason all-conference football team on Tuesday.
The Kansas Jayhawks and the K-State Wildcats were both represented, but neither team placed more than two players on the squad.
KU led the way with a pair of nominees — running back Pooka Williams and punter Kyle Thompson.
Reggie Walker, a senior defensive end, was K-State’s lone representative.
The team was compiled by media members that regularly cover the Big 12.
Walker is a first-time preseason honoree, but he was a second team All-Big 12 performer as a sophomore. He also earned Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year accolades in 2016.
He has 16 sacks and 30 tackles for loss in his career. Walker is coming off a junior season in which he had 7.5 sacks and 35 tackles.
For KU, Williams was named to the preseason team a season after earning Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honors. Williams rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns in his debut season with the Jayhawks.
KU football coach Les Miles re-instated Williams to the team earlier this week following a seven-month suspension that stemmed from a domestic battery charge.
But he also announced that Williams will not play in the Jayhawks’ opening game against Indiana State, while he serves a one-game suspension.
Thompson was an obvious choice at punter. The junior from El Cajon, Calif. was the Big 12’s top punter last season, averaging 43.3 yards. Seventeen of his punts topped 50 yards, including a 76-yarder against Texas.
The Big 12 also announced three individual awards in its preseason all-conference team.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger won preseason offensive player of the year honors. Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray took hom defensive honors. And Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts is expected to win newcomer of the year honors.