Oklahoma State junior running back Chuba Hubbard has been picked as the Big 12 preseason offensive player of the year, only weeks after the NCAA rushing leader lashed out at coach Mike Gundy and suggested he might boycott the Cowboys program.
West Virginia senior defensive lineman Darius Stills was chosen as the preseason defensive player of the year, and Oklahoma redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler was the newcomer of the year. The individual picks revealed Thursday were part of the preseason All-Big 12 selections determined in voting by media who cover the league.
Hubbard, who is Black, was critical of Gundy on social media last month for wearing a T-shirt promoting the One American News Network, which has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement. Gundy, who is white, apologized after appearing with Hubbard in a video.
Gundy later took a $1 million pay cut and had his contract shortened by a year as part of an internal review prompted by Hubbard’s criticism. Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said the adjustments to the contract were the coach’s idea.
Gundy, a quarterback for the Cowboys from 1986-89, has been the head coach the past 15 seasons and was previously an assistant coach for 10 seasons.
Hubbard was a first-team All-American and the AP Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year last season, then chose to return to school for another season despite being NFL draft-eligible. He finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting after rushing for 2,094 yards, the second-best single-season total in school history, trailing only Barry Sanders’ 1988 Heisman Trophy-winning season. Hubbard was third in the nation with 21 rushing touchdowns.
Stills had 14 1/2 tackles for loss last season. His seven sacks tied for second-most in the Big 12, with brother and teammate Dante.
Rattler was Oklahoma’s first five-star recruit at quarterback since Rhett Bomar in 2004. Rattler is still classified as a freshman after appearing in only three games last season behind graduate transfer Jalen Hurts.
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