FRISCO — Kansas (yes, Kansas) will enter this season with the Big 12’s top defender.
Last week, Jayhawks defensive end Dorance Armstrong, Jr. was named the Big 12’s preseason defensive player of the year. On its website, the conference has archived its preseason honor rolls through 2005. No Jayhawk has previously earned a superlative.
Armstrong took down 10 quarterbacks in 2016. And 20 of his 56 tackles last fall were behind the line of scrimmage. He also forced three fumbles. He earned a share of the Big 12’s defensive player of the week award after compiling 11 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in KU’s upset win over Texas.
At Big 12 media days on Monday, Kansas coach David Beaty cited Armstrong as an example of why he believes Kansas’ football program is heading in the right direction. Fellow defensive lineman Daniel Wise also said that Armstrong was worthy of the hype.
“He’s more than deserving of these preseason accolades,” Wise said. “He went out there and proved it last year. He has a lot more to prove this year and he’s hungrier than ever.”