Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tigers Named All-Big 12

Three University of Missouri football standouts were named first-team All-Big 12 by league coaches.  Senior WR Danario Alexander, senior LB Sean Weatherspoon and sophomore PK Grant Ressel all earned first-team designation, while freshman DE standout Aldon Smith won the league’s defensive freshman of the year award.

Weatherspoon, a Butkus Award finalist who leads Mizzou and ranks 3rd in the Big 12 with 101 tackles on the season, was a first-team selection for the second consecutive season, while Alexander and Ressel are first timers on the team.  Alexander is the nation’s top receiver, leading the NCAA with his MU-record 1,644 receiving yards (a 137.0 per-game average), on 107 receptions, including 13 touchdowns.  Ressel leads the nation in field goal accuracy (among those with 11 or more makes), at 96.0%, as he’s connected on 24-of-25 kicks in his first year as a starter, including the game-winning 27-yard field goal against rival Kansas last Saturday at the final gun.

Smith is the nation’s top freshman in both tackles for loss (18.5) and quarterback sacks (11.0). Eleven sacks ties the MU single-season record.  He becomes only the second Tiger to win the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year award, joining former All-American Justin Smith, who took home the same honor in 1998 and is now a starting defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers.

A pair of senior captains – DT Jaron Baston and OL Kurtis Gregory – both earned second-team All-Big 12 honors. 

And eight other Tigers (CB Carl Gettis, P Jake Harry IV, OL Dan Hoch, WR Jared Perry, CB Kevin Rutland, S Jasper Simmons, DE Aldon Smith and TB Derrick Washington) won honorable-mention all-league acclaim in 2009.