Okafor and Jeffcoat named to Hendricks Award watch list
July 30, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Longhorns senior defensive end Alex Okafor and junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat have been named to the 2012 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award watch list, the Ted Hendricks Foundation announced today.
The Hendricks Award is presented annually to college football's premier defensive end. It is named in honor of college football's first three-time first-team All-American, Ted Hendricks, who starred for the University of Miami.
Okafor is a three-year letterman who has appeared in 39 games on the defensive line, including 21 starts. He was a 2011 AFCA FBS Coaches' All-American and a unanimous first team All-Big 12 selection (Coaches). Also in 2011, he was named first team All-Big 12 (AP, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and was on the 2011 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award watch list. Okafor transitioned back to full-time defensive end from defensive tackle in spring 2011 and has registered 110 tackles (49 solo), 9.5 sacks, 20 TFL, 36 pressures, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for his career. Last season he started all 13 games, posting 58 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, seven sacks, three pass breakups, 17 pressures, two caused fumbles and one fumble recovery. He is a two-time member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll (Spring 2010/Fall 2010).
Okafor was chosen as the 2012 preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and is also on the 2012 watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Lombardi Award (college lineman or linebacker of the year), the Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year), the Nagurski Trophy (most outstanding defensive player) and the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Awards.
Jeffcoat is a third-year defensive lineman who has appeared in 21 games with 15 starts. He was a 2011 second team All-Big 12 selection (Coaches, AP, Kansas City Star, San Antonio Express-News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Jackson has 86 tackles (43 solo), 27 TFL, 10.5 sacks, four PBU, one fumble recovery and 16 pressures for his career. He tallied 71 tackles, 21 TFL, eight sacks, nine pressures and three pass breakups in 2011. He was named honorable mention Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2010 when he posted 15 tackles (eight solo), six TFL, 2.5 sacks, one PBU, one fumble recovery and seven pressures. His father, Jim, was a standout defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys (1983-94) and Buffalo Bills (1995-97) and is the current defensive line coach at San Jose State.
Jeffcoat was named to the 2012 preseason All-Big 12 Team and is also on the 2012 watch lists for the Lombardi Award (college lineman or linebacker of the year), the Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year), the Nagurski Trophy (most outstanding defensive player) and the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Awards.
Former Longhorn DE Brian Orakpo won the Hendricks Award in 2009. Three other former Longhorns have been finalists for the award; DE Sergio Kindle (2009), DE Tim Crowder (2006) and DE Cory Redding (2002).
On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the award's winner. Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners are included in the award's voting committee. Candidates may represent any class (freshman through senior) as well as any four-year NCAA accredited school. The candidate's primary position must be defensive end. The 2012 winner will be announced on December 5.