A pair of Baylor’s top returning defenders made the Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team on Tuesday.
Senior linebacker Clay Johnston and junior defensive end James Lynch both claimed first-team accolades on the squad, which is voted on by media that covers the Big 12.
Lynch earned first-team all-conference honors last fall from both the Associated Press and the Tribune-Herald as a sophomore breakout star. He started all 13 games for the Bears and topped the team in tackles for losses (9) and sacks (5.5), the latter number ranking ninth in the conference.
Two years ago, he won Freshman All-America recognition from ESPN.
Johnston, a fifth-year senior, finished fifth in the Big 12 with 99 tackles in 2018, averaging 8.25 tackles per game. The former Abilene Wylie product also had one sack, two passes defended and 5.5 tackles for losses. For his career, he owns 179 career tackles, most on the team.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger was named the Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray was selected as Defensive Player of the Year. The media voted incoming Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, a transfer from Alabama, as the pick for Newcomer of the Year.
Lynch, Johnston and the Bears will open up the 2019 season at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 at home against Stephen F. Austin.