More post season awards are dispensing so we thought we’d jump in the fray with out 2018 All SWC Defensive Unit. Of course it’s a 3-4, come at us.
Ben Banogu (TCU) - Defensive End
Banogu is a disruptor and a freakish athlete. The ULM transfer posted seventeen tackles for loss including 7.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries. He forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles, returning one for a TD.
Ed Oliver (Houston) - Defensive Tackle
If you think this is a reputation pick you’re wrong. In eight games Oliver made 54 stops, among defensive tackles that’s still an incredible number. We couldn’t find many interior players who even approached it. Ed also added 14.5 tackles for loss, again, in eight games, and three sacks. All that in spite of double and triple teams every week and the mob hit Navy put out on the man.
Charles Omenihu (Texas) - Defensive End
Omenihu tallied 9.5 sacks and sixteens tackles for loss. He was in the backfield more than most running backs. The lanky defensive end also added five quarterback hurries and just for good measure, broke up two passes.
A.J. Hotchkins (UTEP) - Linebacker
Looking for a bright spot in a tough year for the Miners? Look at A.J. Hotchkins. The Oregon transfer was glued to the football, tying for thirteenth in the FBS with 126 stops. Add to that ten tackles for loss, seven sacks, and four hurries, Hotchkins put together a mammoth year for UTEP.
Josiah Tauaefa (UTSA) - Linebacker
Death, taxes, and Tauaefa. Put it on a t-shirt Roadrunner fans. The junior put together another stellar year, healthy after missing a significant amount of time in 2017, Tauaefa mustered 111 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and knocked the ball loose four times.
E.J. Ejiya (North Texas) - Linebacker
Yes, it was an excellent year for CUSA linebackers. Ejiya was a MONSTER for the Mean Green with 113 tackles, an incredible 23 tackles for loss, nine sacks, eleven hurries, and a forced fumble. Twenty-three tackles for loss was good enough for fourth in the FBS.
Austin Robinson (Houston) - Linebacker
The converted quarterback/safety came into his own last year at linebacker. This year Robinson took off. He put together 116 tackles, thirteen tackles for loss, six sacks, broke up five passes, and forced two fumbles.
Jeff Gladney (TCU) - Cornerback
Gladney emerged as another Horned Frog Ball Hawk, with an interception and thirteen pass breakups for TCU. Gladney is arguably the best corner in the Big 12 playing a defense that led the league in pass defense. He added 38 tackles, four tackles for loss, and even got in on a sack.
Kris Boyd (Texas) - Cornerback
If you look up "dog" in the defensive dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Kris Boyd. The senior from Gilmer is as tough and physical in coverage as there is. No matter how big, fast, or freakish the receiver, Boyd was there for the Longhorns. He also stepped up with 68 tackles, a pick, sixteen pass breakups, a sack, and a forced fumble.
Caden Sterns (Texas) - Safety
Big 12 offenses will see a lot of Caden Sterns in the next few years. The true freshman safety from Cibolo Steele earned the league’s Freshman Defensive Player of Year Award after his 2018 effort that included 63 tackles, four picks, three tackles for loss, and a sack.
Khairi Muhammad (North Texas) - Safety
We were torn between Muhammad and UTSA’s C.J. Levine, but we went with Muhammad because he’s a ball magnet. He made four picks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and 65 stops for the Mean Green in 2018.