Oakman wins defensive player of the week award

Senior defensive end Shawn Oakman waves to fans following Baylor's 45-27 over Iowa State on Oct. 24, 2015, at McLane Stadium. Photo credit: Trey Honeycutt

Baylor senior defensive end Shawn Oakman was named the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after recording one of his best performances of the season in the Bears’ 45-27 win against Iowa State.

Oakman racked up seven tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss of 16 yards, one sack, one forced fumble and two quarterback hurries on Saturday. After the game, many of the Bears’ defensive players expressed their enthusiasm to see the All-American put his stamp on the game.

“We’ve been waiting for Shawn to come out and kind of have his way,” senior defensive end Jamal Palmer said. “When big games come around, he’s going to start making plays that he needs to make [for us to win].”

The less than ideal conditions appeared to give Oakman an added level of energy, as he wreaked havoc in the Iowa State backfield all day.

One of Oakman’s most impressive plays came in the third quarter on a quarterback sack. The 6-foot-9, 275 pound senior flew around the edge and brought down ISU QB Sam Richardson for a 12-yard loss, while poking the ball loose. The sack was his fourth of the season and extended his career school-record to 17.

The 3.5 tackles for loss during the game were a career-high and moved him to second place in program history with 43 TFL in his career. Oakman also tied career-highs in tackles (7), solo stops (6) and forced fumbles (1) in the Baylor’s Homecoming game on Saturday.

“He got a little swagger back this game and it’s going to help him through [the rest of] the season,” Palmer said.

Oakman leads the Big 12 and is No. 7 in the nation with 1.83 tackles for loss per game. He is also tied for second with .33 fumbles forced per contest and ranks fifth with .67 sacks per game. Oakman’s output has helped the Bears rank eighth in the NCAA with 8.2 tackles for loss per game.

Baylor’s All-American has registered 24 tackles and four sacks through six games (Oakman had to sit out against SMU for a violation of team rules).

This is the second time that Oakman has won player of the week honors in his career. He was Baylor’s last defensive recipient of the award on Nov. 24, 2014 and now joins Joe Pawelek, Byron Landor and Eddie Lackey as BU players to be honored at least twice by the conference in a career.

The Philadelphia, Pa., product is Baylor’s third Big 12 weekly award winner of the season as he joins offensive honorees Corey Coleman (Sept. 14) and Seth Russell (Oct. 19). In total, Baylor has had 14 defensive players recognized a combined 19 times since 2001. Oakman keeps Baylor’s streak alive of having at least one defensive winner every year since 2004.

The second-ranked Bears will look to get some rest before beginning the seventh toughest schedule in the nation. Baylor’s next game will be in Manhattan, Kan., against Kansas State on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. on FS1.