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Six Oklahoma Players Earn All-Big 12 Honors

Four players on offense, one on defense and of course one on special teams picked up either first- or second-team all-conference accolades.

Six Oklahoma players were accorded All-Big 12 honors on Wednesday.

Three Sooners — wide receiver Marvin Mims, left tackle Anton Harrison and punter Michael Turk — picked up first-team honors, while three others — running back Eric Gray, tight end Brayden Willis and defensive end Ethan Downs — landed second-team.

Selections were made by the league’s head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players.

Turk was infamously the only Sooner tabbed to the coaches' preseason All-Big 12 team.

Mims, a junior from Frisco, TX, ranks second in the Big 12 in receiving yards (1,006), receiving yards per game (83.8), yards per reception (19.4) and receiving touchdowns (6), despite ranking ninth in the league in receptions per game (4.3). He has four 100-yard gamers, at least 80 yards in seven games and has scored at least two touchdowns twice. His 52 receptions and 1,006 receiving yards are career highs, and he leads the nation among players with at least 50 catches and 19.3 yards per catch. Mims has also averaged 15.2 yards on nine punt returns with a long return of 41 yards.

Turk, a sixth-year senior from Dallas, leads the Big 12 and ranks third nationally with his 46.7-yard punting average, although he was omitted Wednesday from the Ray Guy Award finalists. He has 20 punts of at least 50 yards, including seven 60-yarders, with a long of 67. Twenty of his 60 punts this season were downed inside the 20-yard line, and 48 of his punts (80 percent) were not returned. Of the 12 that were run back, opponents averaged just 2.8 yards per return, with a long of 13 yards. He was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award and was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 31.

Harrison, a junior from Washington, D.C., has started all 12 games (11 at left tackle, the other at right tackle). He leads a line that has paved the way for an OU offense that leads the Big 12 and ranks 13th nationally in rushing (216.6 yards per game), ranks second in the Big 12 and 17th nationally in total offense (472.2 ypg) and averages 255.6 passing yards per contest and 5.0 yards per carry. He has started all 24 of his games over the last two seasons.

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Gray, a senior from Memphis, TN, leads the Big 12 and ranks 13th nationally by averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He also ranks second in the Big 12 in rushing yards (1,366) and rushing yards per game (113.8) and ranks third in all-purpose yards per outing (132.9). He is tied for seventh nationally and leads the Big 12 with 43 carries of at least 10 yards and has 14 carries of at least 20 yards. Gray has eight 100-yard rushing games and eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career, reaching that mark in 10 games, the fastest by a Sooner since Adrian Peterson in 2004. His 1,364 rushing yards stand as the ninth-most in OU single-season history.

Willis, a fifth-year senior from Arlington, TX, leads OU and ranks fifth nationally among tight ends with his seven receiving touchdowns. He has 35 receptions for 456 yards (13.0 yards per catch), which represent career highs, and has caught two touchdowns three times this season. Willis has also rushed 10 times for 26 yards, threw a TD pass against Nebraska and participates on multiple special teams units for the Sooners.

Downs, a sophomore from Weatherford, OK, has started all 12 games this season and leads the Sooners with 12.5 tackles for loss and is tied for the team lead with 4.5 sacks. More than one-third of his 37 tackles this season have been for lost yardage. He also paces the team with nine QB hurries, recovered a fumble and has been credited with three pass breakups. He has made at least three stops in each of the last six games and has 6.0 TFLs and 2.0 sacks over the last three contests.

Several Sooners also earned honorable mention recognition (at least one vote) at their respective positions: QB Dillon Gabriel, PR/KR Mims, DBs Billy Bowman and Justin Broiles, OL Chris Murray and Andrew Raym and LBs Danny Stutsman, David Ugwoegbu and DaShaun White

Three players received at least one nomination for All-Big 12 individual position awards: CB C.J. Coldon (defensive newcomer of the year), Harrison (offensive lineman of the year) and Turk (special teams player of the year).

Oklahoma has had at least one all-conference player every year since 1926 (95 years). OU has only had one season (1925) when playing in a conference without a first-team honoree, or 106 of 107 seasons.