Two seasons into his college football career at the University of Kansas, running back Pooka Williams Jr. is now a two-time member of the Associated Press All-Big 12 first team.
Williams, a sophomore rusher from Louisiana, became the first KU player to earn first-team distinction from the AP in back-to-back seasons in more than a decade, since standout cornerback Aqib Talib pulled that off in 2006 and 2007. Williams is the only offensive player in KU’s history to appear on the AP first team in consecutive years.
The conference’s coaches earlier this month selected the Jayhawks’ most talented skill player to their all-league first team, and Friday the AP announced its 20-member media panel did the same.
Senior KU left tackle Hakeem Adeniji joined Williams among the AP’s all-conference selections this year, landing on the second team.
A starter on the offensive line in every KU game during the past four seasons, Adeniji was named a first-team O-lineman by the Big 12’s coaches. A team captain, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Adeniji was a fixture for KU’s offense, which averaged 377.3 yards per game, the program’s highest mark in a decade.
Williams was one of two running backs on the All-Big 12 first team, along with Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher (1,936 yards) and the AP’s Big 12 offensive player of the year.
Ahead of bowl season, when other players will have a chance to surpass him, Williams ranks tied for 37th nationally in rushing yards, with 1,061.
KU landed two offensive players on the All-Big 12 teams despite the Jayhawks finishing last in the 10-team conference and scoring the fewest points (23.5 per game) in the league.
This year marked the first time in Oklahoma’s run of five consecutive Big 12 titles that the league’s top offensive player wasn’t a Sooner. Hubbard has rushed for 161.3 yards per game and has scored 21 rushing touchdowns.
Baylor’s Matt Rhule won coach of the year, garnering 18 votes, while Kansas State first-year coach Chris Klieman and Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley each got one.
QB - Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
RB - Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma St.
RB - Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas
T - Julian Good-Jones, Iowa St.
T - Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
G - Marcus Keyes, Oklahoma St.
G - Sam Tecklenburg, Baylor
C - Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
TE - Charlie Kolar, Iowa St.
WR - CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
WR - Devin Duvernay, Texas
All-Purpose - Joshua Youngblood, Kansas St.
K - Jonathan Song, TCU
DE - James Lynch, Baylor
DE - Wyatt Hubert, Kansas St.
DT - Bravvion Roy, Baylor
DT - Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
LB - Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
LB - Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
LB - Garret Wallow, TCU
CB - Jeff Gladney, TCU
CB - Parnell Motley, Oklahoma
S - Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma St.
S - Trevon Moehrig, TCU
P - Austin McNamara, Texas Tech
QB - Brock Purdy, Iowa St.
RB - Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
RB - Breece Hall, Iowa St.
T - Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas
T - Samuel Cosmi, Texas
G - Josh Rivas, Kansas St., 6-6, 323
G - Parker Braun, Texas
C - Zach Shackelford, Texas
TE - Pro Wells, TCU
WR - Denzel Mims, Baylor
WR - Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma St.
All-Purpose - Jalen Reagor, TCU
K - Gabe Brkic, Oklahoma
DE - Malcom Roach, Texas,
DE - Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma
DT - Ross Blacklock, TCU
DT - Darius Stills, West Virginia
LB - Terrel Bernard, Baylor
LB - Marcel Spears Jr., Iowa St.
LB - Clay Johnston, Baylor
CB - A.J. Green, Oklahoma St.
CB - Keith Washington II, West Virginia
S - Grayland Arnold, Baylor
S - Douglas Coleman III, Texas Tech
P - Devin Anctil, Kansas St.
Coach of the year — Matt Rhule, Baylor
Offensive player of the year — Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma St.
Defensive player of the year — James Lynch, DE, Baylor
Newcomer of the year — Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma