Oklahoma State freshman linebacker Shaun Lewis is the 2010 Big 12 codefensive freshman of the year, it was announced today.
He is the second Cowboy ever to win the award, joining Andre Sexton, who earned the honor in 2006.
A true freshman, Lewis enters the bowl game with 55 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, three interceptions, three fumbles forced and two fumbles recovered. He was a key figure in the Cowboys leading the Big 12 and ranking fourth nationally with 30 takeaways.
Each of Lewis’s three interceptions came at important times, as he picked off Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game to set up Dan Bailey’s game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock in the Cowboys’ 38-35 win over the Aggies. He also intercepted Oklahoma’s Landry Jones and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown just as the Sooners seemed to be pulling away in the first half, then added a second pick later in that same contest. Additionally, his 11 tackles against the Sooners that night set a career high.
Lewis forced fumbles in Cowboy wins over Kansas and Baylor and against Nebraska and he recovered fumbles against Texas and Louisiana.
The Missouri City, Texas native played an important role in the Cowboys winning 10 games during the regular season and earning a share of the Big 12 South title despite being picked in the preseason to finish either fifth or last in the division by most experts. He started the season as an unknown reserve on the OSU roster but assumed a starting role with the Cowboy linebacking corps for the first time against Kansas State and never relinquished that position.