July 20, 2012
Texas Longhorns senior defensive end Alex Okafor has been named to the watch list for the 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced.
Okafor is trying to become the third Texas player to win the award and the first since Colt McCoy won back-to-back in 2008-09. Former running back and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams won the Walter Camp Player of the Year award in 1998.
Okafor is a three-year letterman who has appeared in 39 games on the defensive line, including 21 starts. He was a 2011 AFCA FBS Coaches' All-American and a unanimous first team All-Big 12 selection (Coaches). Also in 2011, he was named first team All-Big 12 (AP, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and was on the 2011 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award watch list. Okafor transitioned back to full-time defensive end from defensive tackle in spring 2011 and has registered 110 tackles (49 solo), 9.5 sacks, 20 TFL, 36 pressures, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for his career. Last season he started all 13 games, posting 58 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, seven sacks, three pass breakups, 17 pressures, two caused fumbles and one fumble recovery. He is a two-time member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll (Spring 2010/Fall 2010).
This preseason, Okafor has also been named the preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and has been named to the watch lists for the Lombardi Award (college lineman or linebacker of the year), Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year), Nagurski Trophy (most outstanding defensive player) and the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Awards.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year award is the nation's fourth-oldest college football accolade and is named for Walter Camp, "The Father of American football." Camp - a former Yale University athlete and football coach - is credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation, a New Haven-based all-volunteer group, was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.