Jalen Hurts, Maggie Nichols Among Nominees for Big 12 Athlete of the Year; Sportsperson Next

John. E. Hoover

Gymnast Maggie Nichols and quarterback Jalen Hurts are OU’s nominees for this year’s Big 12 Athlete of the Year award.

Each Big 12 school nominated a male and female athlete of the year, and votes were tallied last week by select media who cover the league.

Other 2020 women’s nominees are Lauren Cox (basketball) of Baylor, Cailie Logue (track and field/cross country) of Iowa State, Katie McClure (soccer) of Kansas, Peyton Williams (basketball/volleyball) of Kansas State, Vivian Gray (basketball) of Oklahoma State, Messiah Bright (soccer) of TCU, Claire Adams (swimming and diving) of Texas, Brittany Brewer (basketball) of Texas Tech and Rylee Foster (soccer) of West Virginia.

Other men’s nominee’s this year are Freddie Gillespie (basketball) of Baylor, Edwin Kurgat (track and field/cross country) of Iowa State, Udoka Azubuike (basketball) of Kansas, Tejaswin Shankar (track and field) of Kansas State, Chuba Hubbard (football) of Oklahoma State, Desmond Bane (basketball) of TCU, Sandy Scott (golf) of Texas Tech and Noah Adams (wrestling) of West Virginia.

Fans can vote on their favorite athlete at this link from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Hurts came to Oklahoma as a graduate transfer from Alabama and led the Sooners to their fifth consecutive Big 12 championship. He finished runner-up in the voting for the Heisman Trophy as he passed for more than 3,800 yards and ran for nearly 1,300. He led the nation in yards per pass, and ranked second nationally in efficiency rating and total touchdowns (53).

Nichols is one of the most decorated college gymnasts in history, with 22 perfect 10s on her resume to go with her 2020 Big 12 Gymnast of the Year honor and first-team All-American selection in all four disciplines and the all-around. She won Big 12 Athlete of the Year in 2018.

OU has had 11 athletes win Big 12 Athlete of the Year in the league’s 23 years (including seven in the last seven years): Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Maggie Nichols, Buddy Hield, Paige Parker, Lauren Chamberlain, Keilani Ricketts, Sam Bradford, Jason White, Stacey Dales and Josh Huepel.

Schools also recently nominated male and female student-athletes for the 2020 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year Award. That award goes to the league’s most outstanding individual student-athletes who excel at athletics, academics and community service.

Candidates for 2020 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year will be announced next week at Big12Sports.com.

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