Four Mountaineers named to Big 12 preseason team

QB Grier selected as preseason Player of the Year

IRVING, Texas — Redshirt senior quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Will Grier has been named the Big 12 Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, the league office announced on Wednesday.

Grier and three of his teammates were also named to the All-Big 12 Media Preseason Football Team.

Grier, senior wide receiver David Sills V, redshirt senior offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste and redshirt junior linebacker David Long Jr. were the four Mountaineers named to the all-conference team.

The total team honored 17 seniors, 11 juniors and one sophomore. Seven were named to the 2017 All-Big 12 First Team, while 11 were on the second team.

Other preseason individual awards went to defensive end Ben Banogu (TCU) as Defensive Player of the Year and defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles (Oklahoma) as Newcomer of the Year.

Grier is the Conference’s top returner in total offense average (328.4), passing yards per game (317.3) and

passing efficiency (162.7). The 2017 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year started 11 games for West Virginia before a season-ending hand injury in the first quarter against Texas.

Sills V earned All-America honors and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award after finishing with 60 catches for 980 yards and tied for the nation’s lead with 18 touchdown receptions.

Cajuste has been a two-year starter and anchors the Mountaineer offensive line at the left tackle position. He was a member of an offensive line in 2017 that only allowed 4.1 tackles for loss per game, ranking No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12. Opponents averaged only 1.5 sacks per game, ranking No. 20 in the nation. He also was part of an offensive line that paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher, a 3,400-yard pass and two 1,000-yard receivers.

Long Jr. played in nine games in 2017 after suffering a preseason knee injury. The ProFootballFocus All-America Second Team selection finished third on the team with 76 tackles, including 56 unassisted tackles, four sacks, a team-leading 16.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

The Big 12 media preseason poll will be released today, followed by the annual Big 12 Football Media Days to be conducted in Frisco, Texas, on Monday and Tuesday.

Both days will be televised live from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT on FS2 and other FOX Sports regional affiliates.