After a year in which he recorded 61 tackles, five and a half, sacks, two fumbles and a touchdown, Dakota Allen finally was recognized for his impact on the field Wednesday afternoon as it was announced that he earned an All-Big 12 First Team selection. Stat-wise, Allen’s accomplishments may look dim as he recorded the fewest tackles of his career, however the Big 12 coaches recognized how much of an impact Allen made on the team. Teams constant ran and passed away from him knowing his ability, not to mention his ability to play through injury at the end of the year.
Joining Allen on the first team was freshman corner Adrian Frye and senior placekicker Clayton Hatfield. Frye finished the season tied for fourth in the conference in passes defended and first in the conference in interceptions. Hatfield finishes a Texas Tech career that will be deemed as one of the best ever at his position by going leading the conference in field goals made with 17 and field goal percentage with 90% and going a perfect 55/55 on extra points.
Allen, Frye and Hatfield all won honorable mentions for some Big 12 awards as well. Allen was up for the Defensive Player of the Year, while Frye was mentioned for Defensive Freshman of the Year. In a rather surprising move, Hatfield finished with an honorable mention for Special Teams Player of the Year, in a year where his stats showed that he possibly should’ve won it outright. Other award honorable mentions went to Alan Bowman as he received one for Offensive Freshman of the Year and Seth Collins for Offensive Newcomer of the Year.
Making the Second Team All-Big 12 was wide receiver Antoine Wesley and offensive lineman Jack Anderson. Both players still have more years left, so this could be the first of many awards for them. An argument can definitely be made for Wesley on the first team as he led the conference in receptions, yards, fourth in touchdowns and seventh in yards per reception. The Big 12 had many great receivers in the conference this year but the numbers don’t lie and the numbers put Wesley right at the top.
Rounding out the honorable mentions were kick returner De’Quan Bowman, linebacker Jordyn Brooks, offensive linemen Travis Bruffy and Terence Steele, defensive backs Vaughnte Dorsey, Damarcus Fields and Jah’shawn Johnson, punter Dominic Panazzolo, defensive linemen Eli Howard, Joseph Wallace and Broderick Washington Jr. Tech led all schools in the number of honorable mentions with 16 total.
Despite the 5-7 record, the coaches around the conference know the Red Raiders have talent. Much of this talent will still be here next year for Texas Tech to use further.