With three first-team and a second-team selection, Baylor football had four players honored on the All-Big 12 teams, the league announced Wednesday.
Wide receiver KD Cannon, center Kyle Fuller, and defensive end K.J. Smith represented Baylor on the 30-member All-Big 12 first team, while defensive back Patrick Levels earned a spot on the 30-member second team.
The Bears have now had four or more selections in nine straight years, including the fourth consecutive season with three or more first-team honorees.
Selections are made by the league's 10 head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.
A third-year veteran wideout and the team’s most experienced receiver, Cannon carries a Big 12-leading 37-game streak with at least one caught pass, making a reception in every game of his collegiate career. The junior has been the go-to big play threat, hauling in 11 touchdown catches this season and 25 in his career, moving into a tie for fifth on Baylor’s all-time single-season list and sole possession of fourth on the career list. Logging 73 receptions for 989 yards in the 2016 season, Cannon moved into sixth on Baylor’s single-season receptions list. The Mount Pleasant, Texas, product paces the Big 12 in receptions/game (6.6) and is fourth in receiving yards/game (89.9), while his 11 touchdown receptions rank third among the conference’s receivers.
The only returning starter from the 2015 offensive line, Fuller has been the cornerstone of the 2016 unit, starting all 12 games this season and all 38 games over the last three years. Through 11 games, the senior center from Wylie, Texas, led the front line with an average coaches grade of 89.1 and 57 knockdowns. Having already accepted a Senior Bowl invitation and earning a spot on the Sporting News Midseason All-America first team, Fuller additionally earned honorable mention recognition for the 2016 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year.
A junior defensive end making his first impact as a consistent starter, Smith has started all 12 games for the Bears, logging 63 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 6.0 sacks. The Frisco, Texas, native has also logged a forced fumble and seven hurries in the 2016 season. His 0.50 sacks/game rank eighth-most among Big 12 defenders, while his tally of 10.5 tackles for loss are ninth best in the conference.
As a fifth-year senior and an electric playmaker, Levels has taken full advantage of his first opportunity as a starter, with his, what the coaching staff coined as, “destructive” style of play landing the “Bear” linebacker in the No. 2 spot in all of the FBS and Big 12-leading four fumble recoveries, while also leading the conference with 0.27 forced fumbles/game. The Dallas, Texas, product has recorded 84 tackles, including 12.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries.
The Bears' All-Big 12 honorable mention choices were: Travon Blanchard (LB), Aiavion Edwards (LB), Drew Galitz (P), Tony Nicholson (KR/PR), Ryan Reid (DB), Orion Stewart (DB), and Terence Williams (RB).
2016 Baylor All-Big 12 First Team
WR KD Cannon
OL Kyle Fuller
DL K.J. Smith
DB Patrick Levels
LB Travon Blanchard
LB Aiavion Edwards
OL Kyle Fuller (Honorable Mention Offensive Lineman of the Year)
P Drew Galitz
K/PR Tony Nicholson
DB Ryan Reid
DB Orion Stewart
RB Terence Williams