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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dorance Armstrong Jr. becomes KU’s first Big 12 preseason Defensive Player of Year

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) celebrates with Kansas wide receiver Jeremiah Booker (88) after Armstrong forced a fumble during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) celebrates with Kansas wide receiver Jeremiah Booker (88) after Armstrong forced a fumble during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

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The secret is out. One of the Big 12’s best football players calls the University of Kansas home.

Despite the program’s long-standing struggles to escape the conference’s basement, the talent of junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. is so great that media voted Armstrong the preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 — an unprecedented distinction for KU.

The only unanimous selection to the media’s preseason all-league defensive team, also announced Wednesday, Armstrong became the first KU player since the inception of the Big 12 to pick up an individual preseason award of this nature.

As a sophomore in 2016, Armstrong turned into the program’s first unanimous All-Big 12 first-teamer, following his 10-sack, 20-tackles-for-loss campaign.

The 6-foot-4, 246-pound defensive force told the Journal-World this past spring his all-conference accolades didn’t satisfy him.

“That’s just a piece of the puzzle that comes with where I’m trying to get,” Armstrong said. “I want to be better than all that. That happened last season and it’s a whole new season, so I just put that past me and keep trying to get better.”

During the final five weeks of his breakout year at Kansas, the Houston native came through with 10 tackles for loss and delivered a career-outing in the Jayhawks’ overtime victory over Texas, during which he made 11 tackles (three for loss), two sacks, and both forced and recovered a fumble.

He said during the spring his outline of goals for his junior year include even more production.

“My main one is to basically beat all the numbers that I put up last season,” Armstrong said, referring to his sophomore-year totals of 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 56 total tackles, five quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and and two fumble recoveries.

“I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy,” he added.

Should Armstrong obtain his individual objectives in the months ahead, he would have a chance to become KU’s second Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, joining Nick Reid, the Jayhawks’ standout linebacker who took home the honor in 2005.

Media named Oklahoma senior quarterback Baker Mayfield preseason Offensive Player of the Year and West Virginia junior quarterback Will Grier preseason Newcomer of the Year.

Armstrong was the only KU player on the preseason all-conference teams, which didn’t include second-team selections or an honorable mention list.

2017 PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 FOOTBALL TEAM — MEDIA

OFFENSE

QB Baker Mayfield — sr., Oklahoma

RB Justice Hill — so., Oklahoma State

RB Justin Crawford — sr., West Virginia

FB Winston Dimel — jr., Kansas State

WR James Washington — sr., Oklahoma State (unanimous)

WR Allen Lazard — sr., Iowa State

WR Keke Coutee — jr., Texas Tech

TE Mark Andrews — jr., Oklahoma

OL Orlando Brown — jr., Oklahoma (unanimous)

OL Connor Williams — jr., Texas

OL Dalton Risner — jr., Kansas State

OL Austin Schlottmann — sr., TCU

OL Zach Crabtree — sr., Oklahoma State

PK Clayton Hatfield — jr., Texas Tech

KR/PR KaVontae Turpin — jr., TCU

DEFENSE

DL Dorance Armstrong Jr. — jr., Kansas (unanimous)

DL K.J. Smith — sr., Baylor

DL Reggie Walker — so., Kansas State

DL Poona Ford — sr., Texas

DL Malcolm Roach — so., Texas

LB Travin Howard — sr., TCU

LB Malik Jefferson — jr., Texas

LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo — sr., Oklahoma

DB D.J. Reed — jr., Kansas State

DB Jordan Thomas — sr., Oklahoma

DB Tre Flowers — sr., Oklahoma State

DB Kamari Cotton-Moya — sr., Iowa State

DB Nick Orr — sr., TCU

P Michael Dickson — jr., Texas

Comments

Dirk Medema 2 months, 1 week ago

Is Dimel the FB by default? Are there any other FBs?

It is also a shame that a virtually nonexistent position is included and only 3 WRs when the std has become 4 or more.

Besides Lee, I'd also suggest watch out for Charlot. He seems to have that crazy play making ability that could blow up. Lots to be optimistic about even without many Ws in the bank.

David Robinett 2 months, 1 week ago

And this is the reason there is hope for KU football. Despite the Debbie Downers on this board , Coach Beaty is getting more and more of these diamonds in the rough like Dorrence Armstrong.

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