2020 has obviously been monumental year for Iowa State football, with the good guys on their way to Arlington to play for a Big 12 Championship. The Big 12 Conference released their yearly awards and all conference teams today, and your Iowa State Cyclones went SCORCHED EARTH.
Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year - Breece Hall
What more can be said about this kid? He’s the nation’s leading rusher at 1,357 rushing yards on 222 carries, with 17 touchdowns. He’s also got 18 receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Perhaps just as impressively, Breece Hall has never lost in a fumble in his entire career. He’s a shoe-in to be a Doak Walker finalist, and should be considered the favorite at this point.
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year - Mike Rose
While Mike Rose may not have been named as a Butkus Award Semi-Finalist (which is highway robbery), the Big 12 decided to make it right by crowning him the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Rose has been one of the best in the conference since Day 1 of his freshmen year, but this year he’s stepped it up a notch, leading the country in interceptions among linebackers, and finishing fourth in the conference in tackles. Rose is one of the best linebackers in America, even if the Butkus Award doesn’t think so.
Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year - Xavier Hutchinson
If you read my preseason scouting report on Xavier Hutchinson, you weren’t surprised at all to the X-Man step up in a big way this season. However, Hutchinson outperformed even some of the more optimistic predictions for him this season, racking up 612 yards and 4 touchdowns on 50 catches, the most on the team.
Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshmen of the Year - Isheem Young
Here’s another guy you probably thought had the chance to be good, but still outperformed even your most optimistic expectations. The hard-hitting redshirt freshman safety has made his presence felt on numerous occassions throughout the season, but arguably his biggest play came against the Oklahoma Sooners with his game-sealing interception in the endzone. This guy might be pushing Mike Rose for Defensive Player of the Year in 2021.
Big 12 Coach of the Year - Matt Campbell
This award was maybe the second-most surefire bet of any of them besides Breece Hall winning Offensive Player of the Year. This is Campbell’s third Coach of the Year Award in the last five years.
All-Big 12 Honors
You can check out all of the honorees here, but here are the Iowa State inclusions:
JaQuan Bailey (Defensive Lineman of the Year)
Latrell Bankston (Defensive Newcomer of the Year)
Colin Newell (Offensive Lineman of the Year)
Rory Walling (Special Teams Player of the Year)