Monday, November 15, 2021
After playing a starring role in the Kansas football team’s attention-grabbing overtime win at Texas this past Saturday, running back Devin Neal was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Between his career-high 143 rushing yards on 24 carries and two catches for 26 yards, Neal accounted for 169 of the Jayhawks’ 420 total yards of offense in the 57-56 thriller.
Neal surged across the goal line for a touchdown on four different occasions at UT, once after making a catch and three other times as a rusher. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound freshman back scored the Jayhawks’ TD in overtime, as well, setting up the game-winning two-point conversion.
It marked the second time in a four-week span that Neal, a true freshman from Lawrence, picked up one of the conference’s weekly honors. Following his 100-yard rushing game against Oklahoma in late October, Neal was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.
KU’s breakout freshman star this year, Neal became the program’s first true freshman to be named the league’s top offensive player of the week. No Jayhawk had won the weekly offensive award since quarterback Carter Stanley in 2019.
The Big 12 award wasn’t the only recognition the former Lawrence High star received, either. 247 Sports named Neal its national True Freshman of the Week.
Though KU quarterback Jalon Daniels didn’t garner any Big 12 honors this week, his standout performance at Texas didn’t go unnoticed. The Sugar Bowl announced Monday that Daniels is one of eight quarterbacks in the country who is in the running to become the Manning Award Star of the Week.
Daniels went 21-for-30 through the air versus the Longhorns, throwing for 202 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore QB from Lawndale, Calif., made an impact with his legs, too, in his first start of the season, going for 45 yards and a TD on 11 carries.
Fans can vote for this week’s Manning Award Star online at the Sugar Bowl’s Facebook page.
The other QBs who are in the mix for the award this week are: Louisville’s Malik Cunningham, Toledo’s Dequan Finn, Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec, Mississippi State’s Will Rogers, Texas Tech’s Donovan Smith, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe.
The Jayhawks’ season finale on Nov. 27 is set for an evening kickoff at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The Big 12 announced Monday that KU’s home game versus West Virginia will begin at 6 p.m. and air on FOX Sports 1.
The game will mark KU’s Senior Day, as well, with it being the final home game of the season.