We're still over a month away from the start of football season, but Big 12 media days will start in a week - so it's time for us to start preparing for pre-season prognostication.
The Big 12 group here at SB Nation is working together to pick a pre-season All-Big 12 team. The first part of the process required that we nominate players who we'd like other Big 12 SB Nation bloggers to consider for selection.
The key here is nominating players that you realistically expect to be considered as the best at their position this coming season. It'd be wishful thinking, for example, to expect that Zac Lee stood a chance of being selected as part of a pre-season All Big 12 team over Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy (or just about any other returning starter for that matter).
Click the jump for a discussion about the Nebraska players we've nominated and the 2009 All-Big 12 preseason team.
Here's the list of players we chose to nominate for Nebraska:
- RB Roy Helu
- TE Mike McNeill
- OL Jacob Hickman
- OL Mike Smith
- DT Ndamukong Suh
- DE Pierre Allen
- DE Barry Turner
- S Larry Asante
- K Alex Henery
I'm guessing it's roughly the same list that the Nebraska media guys will be contemplating in another week. The key is - how many of our Huskers can be expected to be named to the 2009 All-Big 12 Preseason teams?
Is Roy Helu a solid selection when compared to Missouri's Derrick Washington, OSU's Kendall Hunter or Oklahoma's Chris Brown or DeMarco Murray? It's a possibility - Helu was an honorable mention at the end of last season. Brown ended up with more yardage at the end of the season, but voters might favor selecting two different teams - Nebraska and Oklahoma - rather than two backs from the same team.
Based on his 2008 performance, Mike McNeill has to be considered one of the best tight ends in the conference, although Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham was first team last season and probably the best tight end in the nation - so it's doubtful McNeill will be selected over him.
I'll skip the offensive linemen for now - we'll examine them in more detail in a later post.
Suh is a pretty obvious selection for first-team as a defensive tackle, along with Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma.
Husker fans have to be happy with the return of Barry Turner and the emergence of Pierre Allen, but Oklahoma's Jeremy Beal and Austin English are both phenomenal with Beal returning after garnering second-team honors last season. Texas' Sergio Kindle moves to defensive end this season - Kindle was first-team at linebacker last year.
Alex Henery is going to battle it out with Texas' Hunter Lawrence to see who gets first team, and who gets second.