Times West Virginian
West Virginia University senior running back Charles Sims, who transferred in from Houston to play his senior season, made the most of it as he was named first-team, All-Big 12.
Sims also was honored by the conference as Offensive Newcomer of the Year after finishing second in rushing in the conference and 32nd nationally with 1,095 yards. Sims also ranked second in the conference with 1,549 all-purpose yards and led the Mountaineers with 45 receptions, 3 for TDs.
Sims became the first WVU player since Noel Devine in 2009 to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season, topping the 100-yard mark four times including a season-high 154-yard performance in a 30-27 overtime win against TCU on Nov. 2.
Senior defensive lineman Will Clarke made the second unit after ranking second in the conference in tackles for loss with 17. Included among those 17 TFL were six sacks.
Senior Darwin Cook and sophomore Nick O’Toole also made the defensive second team. Cook had a team-best four interceptions while also ranking 10th in the conference in solo tackles with 55.
O’Toole ranked 17th nationally in punting with an average of 44.1 yards per game and he also led the Big 12 with 26 punts of 50 yards or longer. O’Toole’s 26 punts of 50 yards or longer are the most by a Mountaineer punter since consensus All-American Todd Sauerbrun had 33 in 1994.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was named the Offensive Player of the Year in the vote of the Big 12 coaches, who could not vote for their own player, while TCU defensive back Jason Verrett and Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat were co-Defensive Players of the Year.
The Defensive Newcomer of the Year was Kansas defensive back Isaiah Johnson, while the Freshmen of the Year were Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield on offense and linebacker Dominique Alexander of Oklahoma on defense.
Tyler Locker of Kansas State, the punt and kick returner, earned Special Teams Player of the Year, while the Linemen of the Year were Cyril Richardson of Baylor on offense and Ryan Mueller of Kansas State on defense.
Baylor’s Art Briles was Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year after winning the conference title.