3 WVU players earn Big 12 football honors

Brown, Fields and Stills earn All Big 12 recognition
Darius Stills earns Big 12 conference post season honors Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY...
Darius Stills earns Big 12 conference post season honors Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports(Ben Queen | Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports)
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 6:08 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(AP) - The Big 12 Conference has announced its annual All-Big 12 Conference teams and individual awards, as voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players. Two West Virginia players were named for top conference individual honors and all three were WVU’s representatives on the All-Big 12 First Team. Senior Darius Stills was the league’s defensive lineman of the year, and redshirt senior Tony Fields II was the defensive newcomer of the year. Junior running back Leddie Brown earned his first All-Big 12 Conference First Team selection, Fields II was a first-team honoree as a graduate transfer from Arizona, and Stills earned his second straight first-team honor.

Stills’ honor marked the first defensive lineman of the year award for a WVU player and Fields II’s accolade marked the Mountaineers’ second defensive newcomer of the year honor (Shaq Riddick 2014).

Brown led the Mountaineers with 1,145 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns, including a team-high 945 yards and nine scores on the ground. He was WVU’s second-leading receiver with 31 catches and two touchdowns. He had five 100-yard rushing performances and six games with at least one touchdown. He ranks No. 11 nationally in rushing yards, No. 18 nationally in total touchdowns, No. 19 in rushing yards per game (105.0) No. 22 in rushing touchdowns and No. 36 in all-purpose yards.

Brown was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 19) after running for 195 yards on 18 carries against Kansas, 10.8 yards per rush, with one touchdown, five catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. He also finished with 156 yards on 24 carries against TCU, 6.5 yards per carry and an eight-yard reception.

Stills is a semifinalist for the 2020 Lott Impact Award, given to college football’s top defensive player on and off the field and a semifinalist for the Senior CLASS Award. In his final year, he collected 22 tackles, including 11 solo stops, 3.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and an interception. He earned the Chuck Bednarik Award, Reese’s Senior Bowl and Co-Big 12 Player of the Week (Oct. 6) when he registered four tackles, including three unassisted tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss against Baylor.

Fields II, the Big 12 tackle leader in 2020 (88 tackles) and No. 27 nationally, is tied for No. 2 nationally among active players in total tackles (375), No. 3 in assisted tackles (160), No. 4 in solo tackles (4.67) and tied for No. 4 in tackles per game (8.15). In 2020, he has a sack, three tackles for loss, two pass breakups, an interception and four quarterback hurries. Fields II leads the Big 12 in assisted tackles (54) and is tied for No. 8 nationally.

He had five games with 10 or more tackles and led WVU in tackles seven times (EKU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas State, Texas, TCU, Iowa State). He earned Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Week (Nov. 2) after registering 15 tackles against Kansas State, including 10 assists and one pass breakup and was named the defensive champion by the WVU Coaches after finishing with 14 tackles against TCU, including eight assists and one tackle for loss.

Four Mountaineers earned league second-team honors, including receiver Winston Wright Jr., offensive lineman Mike Brown and true freshman lineman Akheem Mesidor and redshirt senior safety Alonzo Addae.

Wright Jr. led WVU in receiving with 45 catches for 528 yards and two touchdowns. Brown is in his second year as the starting guard on the line, and Mesidor led the team in sacks (5.0) and was No. 8 in the Big 12. He also had 6.5 tackles for loss and 29 tackles, including 17 unassisted tackles. Addae tied for No. 2 on the team in tackles (61), interceptions (2) and pass breakups (5).

Earning All-Big 12 honorable mention were Chase Behrndt (OL), Zach Frazier (OL), Dreshun Miller (DB), Jeffery Pooler Jr. (DL), Tykee Smith (DB), Dante Stills (DL) and Brandon Yates (OL).

West Virginia finished the regular season with a 5-4 overall record and 4-4 in the conference, finishing in fifth place. The Mountaineers have qualified for their 38th bowl in school history, including 16th of the past 18 years since 2002 and will find out their bowl destination on Sunday.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.