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College Football: Iowa State QB Rocco Becht named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year; other Cyclone recognized

AMES – Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht was named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year to highlight the Big 12 Conference postseason awards for the Cyclones, announced Wednesday by the conference office after a vote by the coaches.

AMES – Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht was named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year to highlight the Big 12 Conference postseason awards for the Cyclones, announced Wednesday by the conference office after a vote by the coaches.

Becht joins Mike Warren (2015) as Iowa State players to be named Offensive Freshman of the Year. He’s the first quarterback winner of the award since 2019 (Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State).

Senior cornerback T.J. Tampa and sophomore safety Jeremiah Cooper earned All-Big 12 First-Team honors, while junior wide receiver Jaylin Noel and junior tight end/fullback Stevo Klotz earned second-team accolades.

In total, 16 Cyclones were recognized by the Big 12 coaches.

Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year
Rocco Becht (pictured, top), QB, RFr., Wesley Chapel, Florida
Becht had an outstanding season for the Cyclones in his first as a starter, breaking ISU’s freshman records for completions (209), passing touchdowns (20) and passing yards (2,674). He completed 63.5 percent of his passes in leading the Cyclones from one conference win in 2022 to six league victories in 2023. He had six completions for 60 yards or more, the most by an ISU QB since Brock Purdy completed seven passes of 60-plus yards in 2019.

All-Big 12 First Team
Jeremiah Cooper, DB, So., El Paso, Texas
After earning All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors for Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2022, Cooper burst onto the scene as a sophomore, picking off two passes in the season opener against UNI and returning one of them 58 yards for a touchdown. Cooper is fifth nationally and second in the Big 12 Conference with five interceptions despite missing two games due to injury. He’s fourth nationally in passes defended at 1.4 per game. Cooper has 41 tackles this season, including 1.5 for a loss. He’s allowed just one touchdown in 331 coverage snaps.

T.J. Tampa, DB, Sr., St. Petersburg, Florida
One of the nation’s top cornerbacks, Tampa earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors in 2022 and elevated himself to a first-team spot after returning for his senior season. Tampa has locked down opponents this season, allowing just one touchdown in 414 coverage snaps. He has two interceptions, including the game-clincher in Iowa State’s win over Oklahoma State, and seven pass breakups while teams have largely refrained from throwing toward the all-league corner. Tampa is sixth on the team with 44 tackles, including three for a loss.

All-Big 12 Second Team
Stevo Klotz, FB, RJr., Chaska, Minnesota
The redshirt junior tight end spent much of his time in the backfield as a fullback and was rewarded for his efforts by earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors. It marks the third-straight season a Cyclone tight end has earned All-Big 12 honors as a fullback (Jared Rus). In addition to paving the way for the Cyclone running backs, Klotz had seven receptions, including a 13-yard touchdown reception against Cincinnati.

Jaylin Noel, WR, RJr., Kansas City, Mo.
Wide receiver Jaylin Noel led the Cyclones with 60 receptions for 741 yards with a team-high six touchdown catches. Noel finished fifth in the Big 12 Conference for receptions, fourth for receptions per game (5.5) and sixth for receiving yards per game (67.4). Nationally, Noel ranks among the Top 70 for receiving TDs, receiving yards per game and receptions per game. He’s also a standout on special teams as a kick returner and punt returner.

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Benjamin Brahmer (TE), Chase Contreraz (PK, STPoY), Beau Freyler (DB), Jayden Higgins (WR, ONoY), Jarrod Hufford (OL, OLoY), Jaylin Noel (KR/PR, OPoY), Tyler Onyedim (DL), Domonique Orange (DL), Tyler Perkins (P), Jack Sadowsky (DFoY), T.J. Tampa (DPoY), Gerry Vaughn (LB), Malik Verdon (DB)

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