Originally published May 27, 2011 at 12:45 p.m., updated May 28, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.
College football analyst Phil Steele tapped six Kansas University football players to his preseason All-Big 12 teams Friday, but none to Steele’s first team.
Senior tight end Tim Biere received the highest praise from Steele, as he was named to the second team, behind Missouri standout Michael Egnew.
Junior wide receiver D.J. Beshears was named to the third team as a kick returner, and offensive linemen Jeremiah Hatch and Tanner Hawkinson, along with sophomore running back James Sims and senior linebacker Steven Johnson, all were dubbed fourth-teamers.
Biere, a three-year starter from Omaha, Neb., led KU in touchdown receptions (four) during the 2010 season and was tied for third on the team in receptions (19) and fourth in receiving yards (228).
Beshears, an All-Big 12 honorable-mention selection last year, broke a school record in 2010 with 922 kickoff return yards on 36 returns. He also had one touchdown, a 96-yard TD return against New Mexico State. His 25.6 average ranked 40th in the nation.
Sims’ 742 yards rushing (on 168 carries) were the most by a KU freshman since Clark Green ran for 813 yards in 2002. Sims ranked ninth nationally among all freshmen in rushing yards.
Sims added nine TDs on the ground and 134 yards and another touchdown on 19 receptions to finish with nearly 1,000 yards of total offense and 10 TDs.
Hatch, a center from Dallas, and Hawkinson, a tackle from McPherson, have logged 59 career starts between them, and Johnson, the heart and soul of KU’s defense in 2010, was the team’s leading tackler a season ago with 95. In addition, he logged 41⁄2 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, two sacks, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery.