Ehlinger named Big 12 preseason Offensive Player of the Year; three others named to Big 12 preseason team

Donnavan Smoot

While the Longhorns reload for another season this fall, four players are already earning preseason recognition around the Big 12 conference.

Quarterback Sam Ehlinger, kicker Cameron Dicker, offensive lineman Zach Shackelford and safety Caden Sterns were each named to the preseason Big 12 football team on Tuesday after being voted on by media representatives around the conference.

Ehlinger, who has garnered an exceptional amount of praise after last season, was also named the preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. The junior has plenty of eyes on him heading into the upcoming year, as Bovada Sportsbook gave Ehlinger the seventh-highest odds to win the Heisman Trophy for the 2019 season.

Protecting Ehlinger is Shackleford. Entering his fourth year, Shackleford hopes to remain healthy for the entirety of the season. Last year, the 6-foot-4-inch lineman missed three games due to a foot injury. Now healthy once again, he will be looked at to be the captain of one of the more physical offenses in the conference.

Dicker, the hero of last year’s Red River Rivalry for Texas, is coming off an impressive freshman season. He nailed 72% of his field goal attempts and 98% of his extra point attempts. Already proving that he is able to kick well under pressure, Dicker has earned his spot and will certainly have moments to prove he is worthy of the selection throughout the regular season.

As the lone defender for the Longhorns on the list, Sterns is already a standout defensive back, having earned national respect as a freshman. After stringing together some great ball-hawking moments during his freshman season, Sterns is poised to be one of the leaders of a defensive backfield that was regarded as one of the most highly touted defensive recruiting classes in recent history.

With four players awarded preseason honors, the noise surrounding Texas continues to grow louder. With a realistic chance of being top 10 in the AP Poll when the season starts, the Longhorns will surely be looking toward each of these players for their much-needed contributions.