Keeping an eye out on some college football notes you Sooners fans out there are salivating for. Here’s a press release from OU….
NORMAN, Okla. — University of Oklahoma senior defensive back Demontre Hurst, junior defensive back Tony Jefferson and linebacker Tom Wort were all named to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List on Thursday. Meanwhile, senior center Ben Habern and junior offensive lineman Gabe Ikard were named to the 2012 Outland Trophy Watch List.
The Nagurski Trophy is annually awarded to the nation’s best defensive player, while the Outland Trophy is presented to the top interior lineman in college football.
Hurst started 13 games in 2011, earning second team All-Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches. The Lancaster, Texas, product led the Sooners with 11 pass breakups and totaled 55 tackles a year ago. He posted two fumble recoveries and added a 55-yard interception return TD vs. Texas. Jefferson was a freshman All-America pick in 2010 and was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection last season. The Chula Vista, Calif., native registered a team-high four interceptions for Oklahoma along with 74 tackles in 2011. Both players were also named to the Bednarik Award Watch List earlier this week.
Wort started 12 games at middle linebacker in 2011, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors after collecting 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He racked up a career-high two sacks at Kansas State and led the squad with 11 tackles vs. Iowa State. The New Braunfels, Texas, native has opened 21 games at middle linebacker during his two previous campaigns with the Sooners.
Ikard started all 13 games for the Sooners in 2011, opening six contests at left guard and seven games at center. He earned third team All-America accolades from the Associated Press and Yahoo!, in addition to receiving first team All-Big 12 honors and second team Academic All-America recognition. The Oklahoma City, Okla., product led all OU interior linemen in blocking grades a year ago.
Habern has opened 30 contests at center during his career with the Sooners and was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List earlier this week. An arm injury limited him to six starts a year ago when he compiled 39 knockdowns on 391 snaps. The Argyle, Texas, native started all 14 games in 2010 when he earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the Associated Press after starting 10 games in 2009.
The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century. Finalists will be named on Nov. 19 with the winner being announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6 on ESPN. The Nagurski Trophy is named after the former All-America defensive tackle and fullback who went on to NFL stardom with the Chicago Bears. Finalists for the Nagurski Trophy will be selected on Nov. 15 with the award presentation taking place on Dec. 3 in Charlotte, N.C.
Nine OU football student-athletes have now been named to one or more preseason watch lists this week, including Landry Jones, Kenny Stills and Dominique Whaley (Maxwell Award), Hurst and Jefferson (Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy), Wort (Nagurski Trophy), Habern (Outland Trophy, Rimington Trophy), Michael Hunnicut (Lou Groza Award) and Ikard (Outland Trophy).