Kansas University running back James Sims was named to the Associated Press All-Big 12 first team, and KU linebacker Ben Heeney repeated on the second team when the AP released its annual selections today.
Sims, a senior from Irving, Texas, was the Big 12’s leading rusher in conference games with 92.1 yards per contest and finished 2013 with a league-best 1,110 yards overall. That mark made Sims the first player in Kansas history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Sims rushed for at least 70 yards in nine of 12 games this season, including a career-best 211 and three touchdowns in KU’s victory over West Virginia.
An AP All-Big 12 second teamer last season, Sims closed his Kansas career among the leaders in several categories. His 3,592 rushing yards rank third on KU’s all-time charts, his 34 career rushing touchdowns is second, and his surge against the Mountaineers was the 15th-best single-game rushing total by a Kansas player.
An injury was the only thing that slowed Heeney, a junior from Hutchinson who had a breakout season in 2012 and continued as KU’s leading tackler in 2013. Heeney missed two games in the middle of the conference slate but still finished with 88 total stops, including 11.5 tackles for loss and the first three interceptions of his career. Heeney was fourth in the conference with 8.7 tackles per game and ranked fifth in tackles-for-loss per game with 1.15.
Kansas closed its second year under coach Charlie Weis with a 3-9 overall record, including the team’s first victory over a Big 12 Conference opponent since 2010.
The AP’s All-Big 12 teams were selected by a panel of 20 media who regularly cover the league, including Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat were named the offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively, while West Virginia running back Charles Sims and Oklahoma linebacker Dominique Alexander were the newcomers of the year.
Center: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma, 6-3, 298, Sr., Oklahoma City.
Offensive line: Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech, 6-5, 320, Rockdale, Texas; Parker Graham, Oklahoma St., 6-7, 315, Sr., Webb City, Mo.; Trey Hopkins, Texas, 6-4, 300, Sr., Galena Park, Texas; u-Cyril Richardson, Baylor, 6-5, 340, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas.
Tight end: u-Jace Amaro, Texas Tech, 6-5, 260, Jr., San Antonio, Texas.
Receivers: u-Antwan Goodley, Baylor, 5-10, 225, Jr., Midland, Texas; Tyler Lockett, Kansas St., 5-11, 175, Jr., Tulsa, Okla.
Running backs: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor, 5-10, 210, Jr., Temple, Texas; James Sims, Kansas, 6-0, 200, Sr., Irving, Texas.
Quarterback: u-Bryce Petty, Baylor, 6-3, 230, Jr., Midlothian, Texas.
All-purpose: Tyler Lockett, Kansas St., 5-11, 175, Jr., Tulsa, Okla.
Kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas, 6-2, 208, Sr., Cypress, Texas.
Center: B.J. Finney, Kansas St., 6-4, 303, Jr., Andale, Kan.
Offensive line: Spencer Drango, Baylor, 6-5, 315, So., Cedar Park, Texas; Donald Hawkins, Texas, 6-5, 310, Sr., Tunica, Miss.; Cornelius Lucas, Kansas St., 6-9, 328, Sr., New Orleans; Quinton Spain, West Virginia, 6-5, 335, Jr., Petersburg, Va.
Tight end: E.J. Bibbs, Iowa St., 6-3, 250, Jr., Chicago.
Receivers: Mike Davis, Texas, 6-2, 195, Sr., Dallas; Tevin Reese, Baylor, 5-10, 170, Sr., Temple, Texas; Eric Ward, Texas Tech, 6-0, 205, Sr., Wichita Falls, Texas.
Running back: Charles Sims, West Virginia, 6-0, 213, Sr., Houston.
Quarterback: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma St., 6-1, 210, Sr., Enid, Okla.
All-purpose: Charles Sims, West Virginia, 6-0, 213, Sr., Houston.
Kicker: Mike Hunnicutt, Oklahoma, 6-1, 176, Jr., Richardson, Texas.
Defensive line: Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma St., 6-2, 300, Sr., Tulsa, Okla.; u-Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas, 6-5, 250, Sr., Plano, Texas; Ryan Mueller, Kansas St., 6-2, 245, Jr., Leawood, Kan.; Cedric Reed, Texas, 6-6, 258, Jr., Cleveland, Texas.
Linebacker: Jeremiah George, Iowa St., 5-11, 219, Sr., Clearwater, Fla.; Eddie Lackey, Baylor, 6-0, 220, Sr., Murrieta, Calif.; Caleb Lavey, Oklahoma St., 6-3, 235, Sr., Celina, Texas; Will Smith, Texas Tech, 6-3, 220, Sr., Riverside, Calif.
Defensive back: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma, 6-0, 192, Sr., Tulsa, Okla.; Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma St., 6-0, 200, Sr., Huntsville, Texas; u-Jason Verrett, TCU, 5-10, 176, Sr., Fairfield, Calif.; Ty Zimmerman, Kansas St., 6-1, 204, Sr., Junction City, Kan.
Punter: Spencer Roth, Baylor, 6-4, 225, Jr., Knoxville, Tenn.
Defensive line: Will Clarke, West Virginia, 6-7, 273, Sr., Pittsburgh; Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech, 6-2, 280, Sr., Austin, Texas; Chris McAllister, Baylor, 6-3, 255, Sr., Converse, Texas; Charles Tapper, Oklahoma, 6-4, 261, So., Baltimore.
Linebacker: Bryce Hager, Baylor, 6-2, 235, Jr., Austin, Texas; Ben Heeney, Kansas, 6-0, 230, Jr., Hutchinson, Kan.; Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma St., 5-11, 225, Sr., Missouri City, Texas; Blake Slaughter, Kansas St., 5-10, 227, Missouri City, Texas.
Defensive back: Sam Carter, TCU, 6-1, 215, Jr., Alief, Texas; Ahmad Dixon, Baylor, 6-0, 205, Sr., Waco, Texas; Chris Hackett, TCU, 6-2, 195, So., Tyler, Texas; Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma St., 5-11, 205, Sr., Midwest City, Okla.;
Punter: Nick O’Toole, West Virginia, 6-5, 220, So., Corona, Calif.
Offensive player of the year — Bryce Petty, Baylor.
Defensive player of the year — Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas.
Offensive newcomer of the year — Charles Sims, West Virginia.
Defensive newcomer of the year — Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma.
Voters: Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman; Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News; Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News; Tim Griffin, San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle; Kevin Haskin, Topeka Capital-Journal; John E. Hoover, Tulsa World; Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal-World; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Gina Mizell, The Oklahoman; Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register; Randy Riggs, Austin American-Statesman; Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle; Drew Rubenstein, The Dominion Post; John Shinn, Norman Transcript; Stefan Stevenson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Mitch Vingle, Charleston Gazette; John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald; Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.