Five Longhorns earn All-Big 12 honors from Associated Press

Five Texas players earned All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press for their performances in 2018 (photos courtesy of / graphic by Horns Illustrated).

By Steve Lansdale

AUSTIN, Texas — End-of-the-year accolades continued to roll in this week when five members of the Texas football team claimed All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press.

Four members of the team were named to the AP’s All-Big 12 First Team: cornerback Kris Boyd, defensive end Charles Omenihu, center Zach Shackelford and safety Caden Sterns. Linebacker Gary Johnson was named to the second team.

Boyd also got a first-team all-conference nod from the Big 12 coaches. He heads to the Allstate Sugar Bowl matchup against Georgia with a season résumé that includes 63 tackles (43 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry, as well as 16 pass breakups, an interception, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and a first-team All-Big 12 honoree by the coaches, Omenihu has 43 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks, the most sacks and tackles for loss by a Longhorn since 2013. He ranks second in the conference in sacks, and has at least one tackle for loss in each of the last nine games.

A second-team all-conference honoree by the Big 12 coaches, Shackelford has anchored a line that has helped quarterback Sam Ehlinger throw for 3,123 yards and 38 touchdowns.

The Big 12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the coaches, Sterns has 62 tackles (46 solo) with three tackles for loss, a sack, four interceptions and four pass breakups, and he blocked a field goal against USC that was returned for a touchdown. His four interceptions tied the Texas record for picks by a true freshman.

Johnson’s honor mirrored his second-team selection by the Big 12 coaches. Johnson has a team-high 85 tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and a team-leading eight sacks. He also has two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and one pass breakup.

Heading into the New Year’s Day showdown with the Bulldogs, UT is 9-4 and is No. 15 in the College Football Playoff rankings. No. 5 Georgia has a record of 11-2. The game will kick off at 7:45 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.

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