Though the Kansas football team registered just one victory during Big 12 play in 2021, the conference’s coaches didn’t overlook two of the Jayhawks’ most impactful players when making all-league selections.
Both super-senior defensive end Kyron Johnson and junior safety Kenny Logan Jr. made the All-Big 12 second team, the conference announced on Thursday.
A fifth-year defender for KU who bounced around between different positions earlier in his career, Johnson stood out in his final season, after defensive coordinator Brian Borland arrived and asked Johnson to be an edge rusher.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound veteran led KU with 8.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries. Johnson’s four forced fumbles on the year ranked third among all Big 12 players. His 61 total tackles were a career high.
In just his second season as a starting defensive back in KU’s secondary, Logan became the Big 12’s leading tackler, finishing the year with 113 total tackles, which leads all FBS defensive backs. The 6-foot, 205-pound safety from St. Augustine, Fla., was so important to KU’s defense that he was in on 15% of the 763 total tackles the Jayhawks made in 2021.
Logan had a career-best 15 total tackles in KU’s narrow loss at TCU in late November, and he averaged 13.3 tackles per game over the final three weeks, coinciding with KU’s best stretch as a team in Lance Leipold’s debut season as head coach.
The Jayhawks’ play-making safety also produced six pass breakups, an interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a junior.
Additionally, KU had six players receive honorable mention in the all-league process, with postseason honors being voted on by the Big 12’s 10 head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.
2021 All-Big 12 Football Teams ( .PDF )
Four offensive starters for KU picked up honorable mention: senior left tackle Earl Bostick Jr., super-senior receiver Kwamie Lassiter II, freshman running back Devin Neal and junior center Mike Novitsky. The former starting center at Buffalo who followed Leipold and several staff members to KU, Novitsky also got honorable mention in the offensive lineman of the year and offensive newcomer of the year voting.
Another transfer from UB, junior linebacker Rich Miller, received honorable mention in the defensive newcomer of the year voting.
Logan also appeared on the honorable mention list, from the defensive player of the year voting.
2021 All-Big 12 football awards
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Breece Hall, Iowa State, RB, Jr.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jalen Pitre, Baylor, DB, Sr.
OFFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Jaylen Warren, Oklahoma State, RB, Sr.
DEFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Siaki Ika, Baylor, DL, So.
OFFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Xavier Worthy, Texas, WR
DEFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Collin Oliver, Oklahoma State, DE #
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Trestan Ebner, Baylor, Sr.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Connor Galvin, Baylor, Sr.
CO-DEFENSIVE LINEMEN OF THE YEAR: Will McDonald IV, Iowa State, Jr.; Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State, So.
CHUCK NEINAS COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
All-Big 12 1st Team
QB - Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State, Jr.
RB - Breece Hall, Iowa State, Jr.
RB - Bijan Robinson, Texas, So.
FB - Jeremiah Hall, Oklahoma, Sr.
FB - Jared Rus, Iowa State, Jr.
WR - Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State, Sr.
WR - Quentin Johnston, TCU, So.
WR - Xavier Worthy, Texas, Fr.
TE - Charlie Kolar, Iowa State, Sr.
OL - Connor Galvin, Baylor, Sr.
OL - Trevor Downing, Iowa State, Jr.
OL - Cooper Beebe, Kansas State, So.
OL - Josh Sills, Oklahoma State, Sr.
OL - Derek Kerstetter, Texas, Sr.
PK - Jonathan Garibay, Texas Tech Sr.
KR/PR - Trestan Ebner, Baylor, Sr.
KR/PR - Malik Knowles, Kansas State, Jr.
DL - Will McDonald IV, Iowa State, Jr.
DL - Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa State, Sr.
DL - Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State, So.
DL - Brock Martin, Oklahoma State, Sr.
DL - Dante Stills, West Virginia, Sr.
LB - Terrel Bernard, Baylor, Sr.
LB - Mike Rose, Iowa State, Sr.
LB - Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State, Sr.
DB - Jalen Pitre, Baylor, Sr.
DB - Russ Yeast, Kansas State, Sr.
DB - Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Oklahoma State, Sr.
DB - Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma State, Sr.
DB - Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU, Jr.
P - Michael Turk, Oklahoma, Sr.
P - Cameron Dicker, Texas, Sr.
All-Big 12 2nd Team
QB - Brock Purdy, Iowa State, Sr.
RB - Abram Smith, Baylor, Sr.
RB - Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State, So.
FB - Jax Dineen, Kansas State, Jr.
WR - Tyquan, Thornton Baylor, Sr.
WR - Tay Martin, Oklahoma State, Sr.
WR - Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech, Jr.
TE - Chase Allen, Iowa State, Sr.
OL - Colin Newell, Iowa State, Sr.
OL - Marquis Hayes, Oklahoma, Sr.
OL - Steve Avila, TCU, Jr.
OL - Dawson Deaton, Texas Tech, Sr.
OL - Zach Frazier, West Virginia, So.
PK - Gabe Brkic, Oklahoma, Jr.
KR/PR - Brennan Presley, Oklahoma State, So.
KR/PR - Derius Davis, TCU, Sr.
DL - Siaki Ika, Baylor, So.
DL - Kyron Johnson, Kansas, Sr.
DL - Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma, Sr.
DL - Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma, Sr.
DL - Collin Oliver, Oklahoma State, Fr.
DL - Ochaun Mathis, TCU, Jr.
LB - Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma, Jr.
LB - Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma, Jr.
LB - Colin Schooler, Texas Tech, Sr.
DB - Isheem Young, Iowa State, So.
DB - Kenny Logan Jr,. Kansas, Jr.
DB - Delarrin Turner-Yell, Oklahoma, Sr.
DB - Christian Holmes, Oklahoma State, Sr.
DB - DaMarcus Fields, Texas Tech, Sr.
P - Austin McNamara, Texas Tech, Jr.