As David Ubben at ESPN reflects back on the Big 12 football season that was, he recognizes what he calls Super Seniors that stood out this year and there were names to celebrate from Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. In total, he highlights four players from the three schools for their all around effort in their careers and it's true that players like this often don't get the attention they deserve. Here are some of the players he highlighted below:
Stevie Johnson, Kansas, Linebacker
Johnson was a Pennsylvania kid who wanted a chance. Mark Mangino gave it to him, first letting him walk on and then giving him a scholarship. He's been around for two coaching changes now, but he's done after a huge year in 2011, where he led the Big 12 in tackles, with 119. It's been a dark period in Kansas' recent history, but Johnson's been the brightest spot.
Tysyn Hartman, Kansas State, Safety
Hartman's a great personification of the "student-athlete," earning a finalist nod for the Campbell Trophy, which is essentially the academic Heisman. He's also been a four-year starter and helped bring about change this season under Bill Snyder, who led the Wildcats to a 10-2 record. Hartman made 62 tackles and intercepted three passes this year.
Jacquies Smith, Missouri, Defensive End
Kenji Jackson, Missouri, Safety
Smith and Jackson were both major contributors for four seasons and shared captain duties for the Tigers this season. Smith's been big on the defensive line for all four seasons, and both have played through injuries. Smith dislocated an elbow this year and Jackson fought through a knee injury last year, as well as a hamstring injury in camp. Jackson made 71 tackles and picked off three passes, while Smith bullrushed his way into All-Big 12 honors with eight tackles for loss and five sacks, as well as four forced fumbles.