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Oklahoma OLB Nik Bonitto Named PFF Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year

The redshirt junior racked up 39 total tackles including 15 tackles for loss this season.

One of Oklahoma’s best players gets recognized for his efforts.

Redshirt junior outside linebacker Nik Bonitto entered the 2021 campaign with sky-high expectations of being one of the best defensive players in the country and potentially landing himself a spot in the first round of next spring’s NFL Draft.

While he maybe didn’t have quite the campaign he was hoping for, it was still very solid as he was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus on Tuesday.

On the season, Bonitto racked up 39 total tackles including 15 tackles for loss to help the Sooners win 10 games.

He also played some of his best ball in the biggest games down the stretch, getting six of his tackles for loss in Oklahoma’s final three games against Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

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Bonitto also forced a fumble, recovered three, and added nine quarterback hurries to his resume in 2021.

All in all, Bonitto is one of perhaps a handful of Sooners that put together a mostly consistent season, and was rewarded for that effort by PFF on Tuesday who has long been a fan of his.

The Florida-native has not yet announced whether or not he will participate in the Sooners’ final game of the season at their yet-to-be-announced bowl game. 

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