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Ben Banogu named Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

The TCU defensive end is among the best rushers in the country; on Wednesday, he was recognized as the best defender in the Big 12. Return man KaVontae Turpin joins him in being honored.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 Media Days are still a few days away, but the preseason awards are already being announced. On Wednesday, it was revealed that TCU defensive end Ben Banogu had been named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. The Frogs placed one player, return specialist Kavontae Turpin, on the All-Big 12 team, as well.

Banogu finished last season as the conference’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year after finishing second in the Big 12 with 8 12 sacks - just three behind teammate Mat Boesen. He placed third in the conference with 16 12 tackles for loss, stuffing at least one play behind the line of scrimmage in 13 of the 14 games he played. He also had three forced fumbles during a campaign that saw him vault up the NFL draft boards, at one point being named a potential first rounder by Mel Kiper.

Also named an all-conference player was one of the most feared return specialists in the country, who looks to finish his senior year where his junior one left off - as a first-team All-Big 12 player. One of only five players to return both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown a season ago, the lighting bolt out of Louisiana made teams pay when he touched the ball - despite how hard they often worked to keep it away from him. When he wasn’t returning kicks and punts, he was catching balls from Kenny Hill - tying for the team lead with 41 receptions in 2017.

The rest of the awardees can be seen below:

2018 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year: Will Grier West Virginia

Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Banogu, TCU

Newcomer of the Year: Brendan Radley-Hiles, Oklahoma

QB Will Grier West Virginia

RB David Montgomery Iowa State

RB Rodney Anderson Oklahoma

RB Justice Hill Oklahoma State

WR Denzel Mims Baylor

WR Marquise Brown Oklahoma

WR David Sills V West Virginia

TE Grant Calcaterra Oklahoma

OL Dalton Risner Kansas State

OL Bobby Evans Oklahoma

OL Ben Powers Oklahoma

OL Marcus Keyes Oklahoma State

OL Yodny Cajuste West Virginia

PK Austin Seibert Oklahoma

KR/PR KaVontae Turpin TCU

DL JaQuan Bailey Iowa State

DL Daniel Wise Kansas

DL Jordan Brailford Oklahoma State

DL Ben Banogu TCU

DL Breckyn Hager Texas

LB Joe Dineen Jr. Kansas

LB Dakota Allen Texas Tech

LB David Long Jr. West Virginia

DB Brian Peavy Iowa State

DB Kendall Adams Kansas State

DB Kris Boyd Texas

DB Jah’Shawn Johnson Texas Tech

DB Justus Parker Texas Tech

P Austin Seibert Oklahoma

While the preseason honors are always nice - and the snubs always good motivation (Hello, Jalen Reagor, Darius Anderson, and Ty Summers) - fans and players alike are ready to see the Frogs on the field. Big 12 Media Days are Monday and Tuesday, July 16th and 17th, with camp kicking off on August 2nd. TCU opens their season on September 1st vs Southern.