Tuesday, the Big 12 released its All-Big 12 First and Second Teams and Honorable Mentions, and thirteen Cyclones earned distinctions. Xavier Hutchinson and Will McDonald both became the second and third players in school history to earn three First-Team selections in their careers.
Jared Rus, Trevor Downing, Anthony Johnson, and TJ Tampa all earned Second-Team Honors. Johnson’s honor is particularly impressive, given his switch to safety this season after three All-Big 12 Honorable Mention seasons at cornerback. However, don’t let that overshadow TJ Tampa’s distinction, which attests to his remarkable growth in his first season as a starter at cornerback.
Honorable Mentions include M.J. Anderson, Jeremiah Cooper, Hunter Dekkers, Beau Freyler, Myles Purchase, Colby Reeder, and O’Rien Vance. MJ Anderson’s breakout season was a huge factor in the defense taking another step forward with his formidable partnership on the defensive line with Will McDonald, who finished his career as the Big 12’s all-time leader in sacks. Myles Purchase was half of his own formidable tandem with TJ Tampa at cornerback, which helped power Iowa State to one of the best defenses in college football.
Jeremiah Cooper and Beau Freyler were both excellent at safety alongside Anthony Johnson as part of that high-powered secondary.