Sporting News Preseason All-American | Malik Jefferson

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AUSTIN, Texas – Sophomore linebacker Malik Jefferson (Mesquite, Texas) was named to the Sporting News Preseason All-American first team on Friday. Jefferson, who was selected as a freshman All-American a season ago by the Football Writers Associaton of America, Sporting News and USA Today, played in 11 games for the Longhorns. He finished the season with 61 tackles, six pressures and seven tackles for loss, earning the Big 12 Conference's Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. He also earned honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition.

Ranked as the top player in the state of Texas coming out of high school, Jefferson began his career with a strong performance at Notre Dame last season, totaling nine tackles and season-high 2.5 tackles for loss. The following week, he helped the Longhorns to their first win of the season, registering nine tackles, one TFL and four pressures, while also returning a fumble for 26 yards and a touchdown against Rice. For the third straight week to begin the season, Jefferson tallied nine takedowns in a one-point loss to Cal. In addition to an impressive start to his career, Jefferson totaled six tackles in a win against Oklahoma to earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

UT has had 45 Sporting News All-Americans dating back to 1946, with Malcolm Brown most recently earning postseason honors following the 2014 season. Jefferson and the Longhorns will begin the 2016 season on Sunday, Sept. 4, when they play host to Notre Dame at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium.

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.

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