In an offense-driven league, Oklahoma defensive end/linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was an elite defensive presence has has been honored accordingly, as he was named as the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year on Friday.
A senior who plays a hybrid edge rusher role for the Sooners, Okoronkwo finished second on the team with 70 total tackles, but became a mainstay in opposing backfields with 17 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Additionally, Okoronkwo also forced 3 fumbles and recovered 2 others. Okoronkwo’s 8 sacks were good for third in the Big 12, behind only TCU’s Mat Boesen (12) and Ben Banogu (9)
As a result of such a stellar senior season, Okoronkwo was also honored as a first-team All-Big 12 selection at linebacker.
With only the College Football Playoff remaining in his collegiate career, Okoronkwo has collectively compiled 157 total tackles, 33 tackles for loss and 20 sacks with the Sooners.
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