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Rob Weintraub's Big 12 Alumni Trophies

Patrick Mahomes
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Eight is a very lucky number in China, where I was fortunate enough to live for a couple of years. I certainly feel lucky to be able to present my eighth annual Alumni Awards -- my selections for every season's best NFL player from each of the Power Five college programs. It's a great way to gauge the health of the collegiate teams, an indicator of the volatility of the pro game, and, most of all, a fun argument-starter.

Today we cover the Big 12 Conference.

BAYLOR (8 total pros on rosters in 2019 per ESPN.com)

2012: Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
2013: Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
2014: Matt Bryant, K, ATL
2015: Matt Bryant, K, ATL
2016: Matt Bryant, K, ATL
2017: Matt Bryant, K, ATL
2018: Xavien Howard, CB, MIA
2019: Andrew Billings, DT, CIN

Scandal wore down the pro depth along the Pecos, and Matt Ruhle was only just beginning to get the program cranking out talent -- now he's in the NFL himself. Give this year's Waco Wonder Award to the man-mountain Billings, best among a weak group.


2012: Kelechi Osemele, G, BAL
2013: Ahtyba Rubin, DE, CLE
2014: Kelechi Osemele, G, BAL
2015: Kelechi Osemele, G, BAL
2016: Kelechi Osemele, G, OAK
2017: Kelechi Osemele, G, OAK
2018: A.J. Klein, LB, NO
2019: A.J. Klein, LB, NO

Some new faces among the I-State ranks, at last, with Bears back David Montgomery and Packers wideout Allen Lazard showing some flashes. But Klein took his second straight Cyclone Award with relative comfort.


2012: Aqib Talib, CB, NE
2013: Aqib Talib, CB, NE
2014: Chris Harris, Jr., CB, DEN
2015: Chris Harris, Jr., CB, DEN
2016: Aqib Talib, CB, DEN
2017: Chris Harris, Jr., CB, DEN
2018: Bradley McDougald, S, SEA
2019: Bradley McDougald, S, SEA

Not much to choose from between the last two winners of the Jayhawk. Kansas may be a hoops school, but failing to even get to double-digits in pro pigskinners is flat-out embarrassing -- I mean, Ferris State put five former Bulldogs into the NFL, just two fewer than a Big 12 school.


2012: Darren Sproles, RB, NO
2013: Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
2014: Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
2015: Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA
2016: Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
2017: Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA
2018: Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA
2019: Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA

Lockett fell from his incredible efficiency ratings of 2018, all the way to fourth in DYAR and seventh in DVOA. He remains first in the hearts of Kansas State fans, however, and easily threepeats.


2012: Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2013: Gerald McCoy, DT, TB
2014: DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
2015: Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2016: Trent Williams, OT, WAS
2017: Lane Johnson, OT, PHI
2018: Joe Mixon, RB, CIN
2019: Mark Andrews, TE, BAL

Mixon did his best to shrug off a slow start and his team's stench to make it a contest, but it was two key young contributors to the Ravens who duked it out for the award. Andrews used his considerably lighter frame to out-tip the enormous Orlando Brown for the Sooner.


2012: Russell Okung, OT, SEA
2013: Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
2014: Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
2015: Dan Bailey, K, DAL
2016: Emmanuel Ogbah, LB, CLE
2017: Russell Okung, LAC
2018: Chris Carson, RB, SEA
2019: Chris Carson, RB, SEA

Despite his injury in the regular season finale it was an easy repeat for Carson, helped by Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph botching his big opportunity to snag the Cowboy Lasso.

TCU (19)

2012: Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
2013: Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
2014: Jerry Hughes, LB, BUF
2015: Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
2016: Marcus Cannon, OT, NE
2017: Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
2018: Jerry Hughes, LB, BUF
2019: Jerry Hughes, LB, BUF

Comfortable repeat winning of the Amphibian Trophy by Hughes.

TEXAS (32)

2012: Earl Thomas, S, SEA
2013: Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2014: Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2015: Earl Thomas, S, SEA
2016: Justin Tucker, K, BAL
2017: Justin Tucker, K, BAL
2018: Michael Dickson, P, SEA
2019: Kenny Vaccaro, S, TEN

Austin has been a finishing school for good pro safeties for some time, so it makes sense that the race for the Hooked Horn came down to a pair of backstops, with Vaccaro denying Thomas his third award, and his first in Baltimore.


2012: Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
2013: Wes Welker, WR, DEN
2014: Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
2015: Michael Crabtree, WR, OAK
2016: Michael Crabtree, WR, OAK
2017: Michael Crabtree, WR, OAK
2018: Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC
2019: Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC

There could be 14 Red Raiders in the pros, or 114 -- so long as Mahomes stays healthy, the Guns Up Award should remain on his mantle until he calls it quits.


2012: Bruce Irvin, LB, SEA
2013: Adam Jones, CB, CIN
2014: Adam Jones, CB, CIN
2015: Adam Jones, CB, CIN
2016: Daryl Worley, CB, CAR
2017: Pat McAfee, P, IND
2018: Quinton Spain, G, TEN
2019: Mark Glowinski, G, IND

Once again the rifle-shaped Neer Award goes to a guard, but Mark Glowinski had a slightly better season than did Spain. Playing opposite the immortal Quenton Nelson guarantees that Glowinski gets little pub, but he was strong enough to win the award despite the fact Spain's team made the postseason and his squad didn't.


4 comments, Last at 29 Feb 2020, 5:36pm

1 McDougald

McDougald plays for Seattle not LA, doesn't he?

2 Horned "frog"

It might be the "Amphibian Trophy" for TCU, but a horned "frog" is actually a horned "lizard," which is, of course, a reptile.