Former Hilton Head Island standout Poona Ford was named Big 12 Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year on Thursday.
The award was voted on by the conference's head coaches. Ford joins Brian Orakpo (2008) as the only Longhorn players to earn Defensive Lineman of the Year honors. He also was one of four Texas players picked for the Big 12 all-conference first team.
Ford started all 12 games and was a menace in the middle of Texas’ defense with 30 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 1 1/2 sacks, one forced fumble, one quarterback hurry, one pass breakup and a blocked field goal.
In addition to that honor, Ford has recently accepted an invite to play in the 93rd annual East-West Shrine Game.
The game will be Jan. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and be televised on NFL Network.
“Honored and blessed to accept this invitation to participate in the East West Shrine Game #AllGloryToGod,” Ford posted on his Twitter page.
Ford was one of the Longhorns’ team captains this season. He also is a Blanchard-Rogers Award finalist, given to top college player with ties to South Carolina.
The Longhorns went 6-6 this season and will find out Sunday its destination for a bowl game.