Texas WR Xavier Worthy named Big 12’s top offensive freshman; 4 Longhorns named first-team all-conference

Horns Report

Texas running back Xavier Worthy (8) runs for a touchdown against Texas Tech during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

IRVING, Texas (KXAN) — Freshman wide receiver Xavier Worthy parlayed his record-breaking season into being named the Offensive Freshman of the Year by Big 12 Conference coaches, the conference announced Thursday.

Worthy’s selection also came with a first-team all-conference nod, where he joined sophomore running back Bijan Robinson, senior offensive lineman Derek Kerstetter and senior punter Cameron Dicker.

As the only freshman to make the Big-12 first-team, Worthy set UT freshman records with 62 catches, 981 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. His best game of the season came in the Red River Showdown against Oklahoma when he torched the Sooners for 261 receiving yards on nine catches and a pair of touchdowns, a bright spot in an otherwise brutal 55-48 loss where the Longhorns blew a 21-point lead.

Going into conference championship week, Worthy leads the Big-12 in receiving yards, receiving yards per game at 81.1 and receiving touchdowns. He’s the sixth Longhorn to earn the postseason honor and the last since Colt McCoy did it in 2006. Worthy is just the second Longhorn to win a freshman player of the year award and be named first-team all-conference. Caden Stearns was named the defensive freshman of the year and first-team all-conference in 2018.

Robinson’s season was cut short at 10 games after an elbow injury during a game against Kansas, but up to that point, he was clearly one of the best backs in the Big 12. He rushed for 1,127 yards on 195 carries with 11 touchdowns, and he was a threat in the passing game with 295 receiving yards on 26 catches with four touchdowns. He ran for more than 100 yards in a game six times, including a 216-yard performance against TCU in a 32-27 win.

Robinson said he will return to UT next year, quelling rumors that he might transfer or even sit out a year in preparation for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Kerstetter, an honorable mention selection last season, started 11 games at right tackle and one game at left guard. He helped Robinson surpass the 1,000-yard mark on the ground, and running back Roschon Johnson to more than 500 yards on the ground.

Dicker took over punting duties this season in addition to place-kicking, and he flourished in the field position game. He’s a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s best college punter, and shared the conference’s first-team honor with Oklahoma’s Michael Turk.

Dicker averaged 46.8 yards per punt, third-best in the Big 12, with 11 punts downed inside the 20-yard line and 16 punts of 50 yards or more. He had two punts sail more than 70 yards, a 78-yarder against Oklahoma and a 77-yard boot against Oklahoma State. He was also named an honorable mention place-kicker this year.

While no Texas player made the all-conference second team, 10 were named honorable mention performers. Texas finished a disappointing 5-7 this season in head coach Steve Sarkisian’s first year. For just the fourth time in the last 23 years, the Longhorns’ season ended before a bowl game.

Iowa State running back Breece Hall was named the Offensive Player of the Year and Baylor defensive back Jalen Pitre was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was named the Coach of the Year.

Texas Longhorns on the Big 12 All-Conference team

First team: Xaiver Worthy, fr., wide receiver; Bijan Robinson, soph., running back; Derek Kerstetter, sr., offensive lineman; Cameron Dicker, sr., punter

Honorable mention: Cade Brewer, sr., tight end; Luke Brockemeyer, jr., linebacker; Keondre Coburn, jr,, defensive lineman; Anthony Cook, sr., defensive back; Cameron Dicker, sr., place kicker; B.J. Foster, sr., defensive back; Byron Murphy, fr., defensive lineman; Ovio Oghoufo, jr., edge rusher; Moro Ojomo, jr., defensive lineman; DeMarvion Overshown, sr., linebacker; Keilan Robinson, jr., running back

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