AUSTIN, Texas – Two Texas football players have earned preseason All-America honors from the Sporting News: junior offensive tackle Connor Williams earned a spot on the first team while junior linebacker Malik Jefferson was recognized on the second team.
Williams, a native of Coppell, Texas, was a consensus first-team All-America in 2016. He was only the fourth sophomore in UT history to receive first-team All-America honors. Williams was also named a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best interior lineman in college football. He started all 11 games in which he played during his sophomore campaign and has started 23 of a possible 24 contests during his career. Williams was a freshman All-America in 2015, and will try to become the first UT offensive lineman since Justin Blalock in 2006 to earn postseason first-team All-America recognition from Sporting News.
Jefferson, a native of Mesquite, Texas, was named second team All-Big 12 by the Associated Press in 2016 as well as being named as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, which is awarded annually to the nation's best linebacker. Jefferson is trying to join Derrick Johnson (2004) as the only Texas linebackers ever to earn first-team postseason All-America honors from the Sporting News. Jefferson was a freshman All-America in 2015 while also being named honorable mention All-Big 12 and the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. He played in 11 games a season ago, starting nine, while totaling 62 tackles which was good for third on the team.