Sooners, Cowboys pop up on preseason prediction lists

Preseason predictions are piling up for college football teams.

Athlon Sports has Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine (fourth team), OU receiver Sterling Shepherd (fourth team), running back Alex Ross (first team as a kick returner), OU linebacker Eric Striker (second team), OU cornerback Zack Sanchez (second team) and Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (third team) on its preseason All American list.

Only Ohio State (11), Alabama (7) and USC (6) have more selections than OU, which is tied at 5 with Mississippi and Notre Dame.

TCU quarterback Trevonne Boykin is the first-team quarterback and tight end Hunter Henry of Arkansas is on the first team. Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango is also a first-team pick.

On its preseason All Big 12 Conference predictions, Athlon has Perine (first team), Ross (fourth team), Shepherd (first team), OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph (second team), OSU receiver Brandon Shepherd (second team), OU center Ty Darlington (third team), OU offensive guard Nila Kasitati (third team), OSU offensive tackles Zachary Crabtree (second team) and Victor Salako (fourth team), OU defensive end Charles Tapper (second team), Ogbah (first team), OSU defensive tackle Vincent Taylor (third team), OU linebackers Striker (first team), Jordan Evans (second team) and Dominque Alexander (second team), OSU linebackers Seth Jacobs (third team) and Ryan Simmons (first team), Sanchez (first team), OSU cornerback Kevin Peterson (second team), OSU safety Jordan Sterns (third team), OSU kicker Ben Grogan (fourth team), Ross (first team kick returner) and OU punt returners Dede Westbrook and Shepherd.

Athlon predicts that Baylor will in the conference with TCU in second place, OU in third and OSU in fourth place.

OU’s Westbrook is predicted to be the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year while OSU is picked as the league’s sleeper. Rudolph was selected as the “breakout player” for the Big 12.

OU coach Bob Stoops ranked as the fourth best coach in the league behind Art Briles of Baylor, Bill Snyder of Kansas State and Gary Patterson of TCU. OSU coach Mike Gundy was ranked No. 5.

Rudolph was picked as the second best quarterback in the Big 12 behind Boykin and OU’s Baker Mayfield – who has not been named the starter for the Sooners – was ranked fifth.

Perine was picked as the best running back in the league.

The OU-Tennessee game was chosen as the best nonconference matchup with Texas vs. Notre Dame coming in second.

Five Sooners – defensive linemen Neville Gallimore and Ricky DeBerry, defensive backs P.J. Mbanasor and Will Sunderland, plus running back Rodney Anderson – were in the list of the top 15 incoming freshmen in the Big 12. Gallimore was No. 4.