Four Cyclone defenders were placed on the preseason All-Big 12 teams announced by the league on Tuesday. JaQuan Bailey, Ray Lima, Marcel Spears and Greg Eisworth were all on the team selected by the league’s media.
Bailey enters his senior season in Ames as one of the most prolific pass rushers in program history. His 18.5 career sacks are tied for the most ever by a Cyclone. The 31.5 tackles for loss in his career rank fifth in school history.
Lima has long been considered one of the linchpins in Iowa State’s defensive rise over the past two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive tackle recorded 34 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss last season on his way to earning first-team All-Big 12 honors from ESPN.
Spears was one of the surprise inclusions on Iowa State’s preseason depth chart two years ago, but has backed up that distinction the past two years by earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in each season. He enters his senior season for the Cyclones having recorded 180 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and four interceptions, including two pick-sixes, during his career.
Eisworth burst onto the scene last season earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors. The safety from Grand Prairie, Texas led the Cyclones in tackles last season as a redshirt sophomore with 87 stops while also adding 4.0 tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray were named the league’s preseason offensive and defensive players of the year.