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Five Bears Selected to AP All-Big 12 Football Team

Dec. 3, 2009

| All-Big 12 Selections

DALLAS - Five Baylor student-athletes were named to The Associated Press All-Big 12 football team announced Thursday. Derek Epperson, Jordan Lake and Joe Pawelek were named to the first team while J.D.Walton and Kendall Wright earned honorable mention.

Baylor's three first-team selections were second only to Texas' four first-teamers as most in the league, and matched by trios honored from Missouri and Oklahoma. The teams are selected by a vote of 20 sports writers who regularly cover the league for newspapers throughout the conference's seven-state region.

The three first-team selections matches the most Baylor players ever on the AP team, equaling the three first-teamers last season (Lake, Pawelek and first-round NFL pick Jason Smith). Lake and Pawelek are three-time All-Big 12 selections, Walton is a repeat honorable mention and Epperson and Wright are first-time all-conference honorees by the Associated Press. All five were honored by the league's coaches in All-Big 12 selections announced earlier this week.

Epperson averaged 44.8 yards on 54 punts as a junior, an average that currently ranks sixth nationally, and placed 13 punts inside the 20-yard-line. He kicked 14 punts of 50 yards or more. Epperson was named a mid-season All-American by and projected a preseason All-American by Lindy's, and Sporting News.

Lake finished his senior season with 91 tackles and three forced fumbles. His 7.6 tackles-per-game average ranks sixth in the conference and he finished his career with 324 tackles and six interceptions.

Pawelek led the team with 109 tackles (9.1 average ranks second in the Big 12) and added 2.5 sacks and an interception. The two-time Academic All-American and 2008 All-American finished his stellar career with 422 tackles, 18th-most in NCAA history (since 2000) and nine interceptions. He also tied the school record with 45 career starts at Baylor.

Walton is rated the No. 1 NFL Draft prospect at the center position among seniors by ESPN's Mel Kiper. He recorded 112 knockdowns in 12 games this season (9.3 per game) and earned a coach's grade of 90 percent or higher in 9 of 12 games. Walton started 36 consecutive games for the Bears and is a candidate for the Rimington Trophy honoring the nation's top center.

Wright earned his first All-Big 12 honor as a sophomore after recording a team-high 66 receptions (third-highest single-season total in school history) and 740 yards with four touchdowns (all team highs). His 5.5 catches-per-game ranks seventh in the league and 35th nationally. Wright totaled three 100-yard receiving games in 2009 and extended his reception streak to 24 games, every game of his career.


Justin Akers
All-Big 12, honorable mention (coaches)

Derek Epperson
All-Big 12, 1st team (AP)
All-Big 12, 1st team (coaches)
All-Big 12, 1st team (Austin American-Statesman)
All-Big 12, 1st team (San Antonio Express-News)
All-Big 12, 2nd team (K.C. Star)

David Gettis
All-Big 12, honorable mention (coaches)

Jordan Lake
All-Big 12, 1st team (AP)
All-Big 12, 2nd team (coaches)
All-Big 12, 2nd team (San Antonio Express-News)

Jason Lamb
All-Big 12, honorable mention (coaches)

Joe Pawelek
All-Big 12, 1st team (AP)
All-Big 12, 2nd team (coaches)
All-Big 12, 2nd team (San Antonio Express-News)

J.D. Walton
All-Big 12, 2nd team (coaches)
All-Big 12, 2nd team (San Antonio Express-News)
All-Big 12, honorable mention (AP)

Kendall Wright
All-Big 12, honorable mention (AP)
All-Big 12, honorable mention (coaches)



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