LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas football coach Mark Mangino, defensive tackle James McClinton and return man Marcus Herford earned Big 12 Conference individual awards and 14 Jayhawks were named to the All-Big 12 Conference teams which were released Tuesday.
Of the 14 Jayhawks selected to the teams, which were voted on by the league coaches, four earned first-team honors, four earned second-team accolades and six were tabbed to the honorable mention team.
Mangino was named Big 12 Coach of the Year and became the first KU coach to earn league honors since Glen Mason was named the Big Eight Coach of the Year in 1995. The sixth-year head coach has guided the Jayhawks to an 11-1 record and a ranking of fifth in the BCS poll. KU reached its highest ranking in school history when it was second in the BCS poll on Nov. 18.
Kansas has posted one of the nation's biggest turnarounds in 2007 as after a 6-6 season last year, KU improved five games this season. Only Illinois, which improved seven games, made a bigger turnaround this season.
Under Mangino's direction, KU will play in a bowl game for the third time in five years. Mangino is the first coach in school history to reach a bowl game three times.
The conference coach of the year honors marks the seventh time a KU coach has won the honor. Mangino joins Pepper Rodgers (1967), Bud Moore (1975), Don Fambrough (1981), Mike Gottfried (1984) and Mason (1991 and 1995).
McClinton, a senior defensive tackle from Garland, Texas, was named the league's Defensive Lineman of the Year by the coaches. McClinton has recorded 38 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss this year. He has 2.5 sacks and registered an interception against Colorado.
Herford was tabbed as the league's Special Teams Player of the Year. The junior from DeSoto, Texas, leads the Big 12 and ranks eighth in the NCAA with a 30.04 kickoff return average. He is one of 10 players in the country with at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns after scoring against Southeastern Louisiana and Baylor.
KU had four players named All-Big 12 First Team in offensive tackle Anthony Collins, McClinton, linebacker Joe Mortensen and cornerback Aqib Talib, who was one of two repeat first-team honorees from last season along with Kansas State defensive tackle Ian Campbell.
KU's four first-team picks rank third in the conference behind Oklahoma (six) and Missouri (five). KU's eight first or second team honorees also rank third behind Oklahoma (12) and Missouri (11). Three schools had five players named first or second team.
The four first-team selections are the most since KU had four named all-Big Eight in 1993.
Collins, a junior from Beaumont, Texas, who is also a finalist for the Outland Trophy given to the nation's top lineman, has been KU's top lineman this season. He has averaged nearly nine knockdowns per game, while helping pave the way for KU's offense which has averaged 197 yards rushing and 295 yards passing this season.
Mortensen ranks eighth in the conference with 8.2 tackles per game after taking over the middle linebacker position this season. The junior from Concord, Calif., leads the conference and is tied for 45th in the NCAA with 1.17 tackles for loss per game.
Talib, who is a Bronko Nagurski Award finalist, has recorded 61 tackles, 13 passes broken up and four interceptions. The junior from Richardson, Texas, leads the Big 12 and is tied for 11th nationally with 1.42 passes defended per game.
Reesing, a sophomore from Austin, Texas, who is in his first year as a starter, has had a record-breaking season. He has thrown for a school record 3,259 yards and a school record 32 touchdowns, while ranking 12th in the nation in passing efficiency.
McAnderson, a senior from Lawrence, Kan., became the 12th player in KU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and he has 1,050 yards through the regular season. McAnderson has rushed for 100 yards in five different games and has averaged 6.0 yards per carry.
Henry is just six yards shy of becoming the third player in KU history to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season as he has 52 catches for 994 yards and nine touchdowns through 12 games. The senior from Lawton, Okla. has five 100-yard receiving games this season and has produced a team-best 16 plays of 20 or more yards, including eight of at least 40 yards.
Cantrell, a junior, has been KU's most consistent offensive lineman, starting all 12 games at the center position.
Holt is second on the team with 91 tackles, while also ranking second with 12 tackles for loss. The junior is the only player on the team to record at least five tackles in every game this year and has three double-digit tackle games.
Rivera ranks third on the team with 84 tackles and had a career-high 14 against Missouri in the final regular season game. The junior has been involved in five turnovers this season with one interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Rodriguez, a senior, has started a team-best 41 games on the offensive line in his career, including 27 consecutive starts. He mans the right tackle position.
Stuckey, a sophomore, is the fourth-leading tackler on the team with 66 stops. He has two interceptions and two fumble recoveries this year. Against Missouri in the last regular season game, he recorded a career-best 12 tackles.
Webb, a senior, has made 17 of 24 field goal attempts as well as 63 of 64 PATs en route to a record setting year and career. His 114 points this season are the most in school history.