WVU places 2 on Big 12 preseason team


Staff Report

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University senior defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu and senior center Tyler Orlosky have been named to the Big 12 Preseason All-Conference Team, today, as selected by media representatives who cover the league.

The honorees include nine seniors, 11 juniors and 11 sophomores with only one holdover from last year’s preseason squad in running back Samaje Perine (Oklahoma). Five players were chosen to the 2015 All-Big 12 First Team while 10 were on the second team.

Nwachukwu, the Big12 Conference’s returning sack leader in conference games only, finished with 47 tackles, including 37 solo stops and a team-leading 8.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He was ranked No. 5 in sacks and No. 12 in tackles for loss and he was No. 2 in sacks and No. 3 in tackles for loss in conference games only

Orlosky has been named to the 2016 Rimington Trophy Fall Watch, signifying the top NCAA Division I center in the nation and the Outland Trophy Watch List for the top interior lineman.

He earned the distinction of being the top center in the nation, heading into the 2016 season, by USA Today and has landed on various All-American and All-Big 12 Conference teams by preseason publications.

Orlosky, an All-Big 12 Second Team member from Cleveland, Ohio, started all 13 games last season and saw action on more than 1,000 plays. He helped pave the way for the offense to average 479.7 yards per game of total offense, 34.0 points, 228.2 rushing yards and 251.5 passing yards. The offense ranked No. 17 nationally in rushing offense, No. 18 in first down offense and No. 23 in total offense.

He graded out 90 percent or better in all 13 games last season. The WVU rushing attack produced 200 or more yards in six games, 300 or more yards in three games and a season-high 426 yards at Kansas. In the last six games of 2015, the rushing offense averaged 251 yards per game and 499.3 yards of total offense.

Orlosky is one of only two returning all-conference offensive linemen from 2015 and is the only returning Big 12 lineman listed on the final ranking of the Schneider Scale (ranks the best 25 linemen in the nation and is used for the Outland Trophy).

Selections for the preseason individual awards are quarterback Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) as Offensive Player of the Year, linebacker Malik Jefferson (Texas) as Defensive Player of the Year and quarterback Kenny Hill (TCU) as Newcomer of the Year.

The Big 12 media preseason poll will be released on Thursday, followed by the annual Big 12 Football Media Days to be conducted in Dallas on July 18-19. Both days will be televised live from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CT on FS2 and other FOX Sports affiliates. Exclusive, live coverage from the event will also be available on the Big 12’s digital platforms – Big12Sports.com, Twitter and Instagram (@Big12Conference). The official hashtag for the event will be #Big12FB.

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