The following is a press release sent out by Iowa State athletic communications.
IRVING, Texas – Iowa State linebackers A.J. Klein and Jake Knott were named to the 2012 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team. Quarterback Geno Smith (West Virginia), defensive end Alex Okafor (Texas) and wide receiver Trey Metoyer (Oklahoma) were picked for individual awards, chosen by media representatives who cover the Conference.
Klein is the returning Big 12 Conference co-defensive player of the year and earned first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors in 2011 after making 116 tackles. Knott also earned first-team All-Big 12 honors after making 115 tackles last season.
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to Smith while Okafor earned the nod for Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Metoyer was chosen Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Smith will lead West Virginia into its first season of Big 12 football. The 6-3 senior enters the 2012 campaign with 26 consecutive starts. He was an all-conference first team selection last year after leading the Mountaineers to their league title. Smith threw for 4,385 yards in 13 games, the fourth-best total in the NCAA in 2011. He earned Most Valuable Player of the Orange Bowl after setting five of the bowl’s records and four BCS bowl records in WVU’s 70-33 win over Clemson.
Okafor was a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection last season as well as an AFCA All-American. He posted 58 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, seven sacks, three pass breakups, 17 pressures, two caused fumbles and one fumble recovery in 2011 after transitioning back to defensive end from defensive tackle.
Metoyer caught 108 passes for 1,540 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior in 2010 at Whitehouse (Texas) High School. He had at least 15 touchdowns in three straight years of prep ball and was listed as the No. 2 wide receiver recruit in 2011 by Rivals.com.
The media Preseason Big 12 Poll will be released on Thursday, followed by the annual Big 12 Football Media Days to be conducted in Dallas on July 23-24. Live video coverage, including press conferences and one-on-one interviews with a variety of guests, will be featured both days on the Big 12 Digital Network, including Big12Sports.com.