Eight Jayhawks recognized for Big 12 Honors

Oct 7, 2017; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; during a Big 12 game between the Kansas Jayhawks and Texas Tech Red Raiders ©Kelly Ross Photo

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KU) – Junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise was recognized as a First Team honoree as the Big 12 Conference awards were announced Thursday. Wise led the way as Kansas football had eight members of the program pick up all-conference honors as voted on by the league coaches.

Wise, who picked up first team honors from ESPN and honorable mention honors from the conference coaches in 2016, garnered first team honors from the Big 12 coaches for the first time in his KU career. Senior tight end Ben Johnson and juniors defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., and linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., each found their names on the second team. Seven of KU's eight honorees are scheduled to return to the field for Kansas in 2018.
A Lewisville, Texas native, Wise had one of the best seasons of any defensive lineman in the Big 12 as he turned in 17.0 tackles-for-loss, including 7.0 sacks. His 17.0 TFLs ranks second in the Big 12 in 2017 and 11th in the FBS rankings. Wise's 7.0 sacks ranks fourth in the Big 12 and tied for 44th in the FBS. For the season, Wise recorded 53 total tackles, one forced fumble, one pass breakup and five quarterback hurries to go along with his sacks and TFLs.

Johnson, a Basehor, Kansas native, was one of KU's top offensive weapons in 2017 as he finished the season with 30 receptions, good for 363 yards and a touchdown—all career-high marks. Johnson averaged 12.1 yards per catch from his tight end position and was also a vital member of the Jayhawk special teams.

Armstrong, a native of Houston, Texas, finished his third season in the Crimson and Blue with 63 total tackles, including 9.0 TFLs and 1.5 sacks. Additionally, he hurried the quarterback seven times, had four pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Dineen, a Lawrence, Kansas native, led the Big 12 conference in total tackles (136), tackles-for-loss (24.0) and solo tackles (92). His 7.6 solo tackles per game also led the FBS, while his 2.0 TFLs per contest ranked third in the FBS. His 24.0 TFLs set a new KU single-season record. He finished the 2017 campaign ranked sixth in the FBS in total tackles. Dineen added two pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble during the season.

In addition to Wise, Johnson, Armstrong and Dineen, KU had four different players earn honorable mention nods. On offense, junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., and sophomore offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji were recognized by the league coaches. On defense, sophomore safety Bryce Torneden was honored and on special teams kicker Gabriel Rui was feted, while Sims also earned recognition as a punt/kick returner.

In addition, Wise received honorable mention honors for the Defensive Lineman of the Year award.