Oklahoma State nearly handed The University of Texas its first loss of the season last Saturday. Dropped passes, missed assignments on defense, and a resilient Cowboys squad kept the Longhorns honest, and it was only with a few late scores that the Longhorns managed to pull off the 41-36 win.
But while Mack Brown takes the week to ready his squad for Saturday’s matchup against No. 8 West Virginia, there’s one position he won’t need to worry about. Jackson Jeffcoat, the team’s stalwart defensive end, was named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week for his contributions last week, cementing the team’s defensive line with one of the junior’s best games of his career.
Jeffcoat, a Plano native, notched a team-high four tackles for losses, including an impressive sack. He also forced a fumble on his way to seven tackles in the Longhorns’ victory against the nation’s top-ranked offense. Jeffcoat is the first Longhorn to win the award since then-senior linebacker Emmanuel Acho grabbed the honor last season.
Jeffcoat’s recognition isn’t the first time his name has been bandied about on the national stage. After a standout 2011 season—playing in all 13 games, Jeffcoat contributed 71 tackles and eight sacks—Jeffcoat was named to a second-team All-Big 12 selection. Coaches and pundits believe Jeffcoat’s only gotten better: Before the season began, Jeffcoat, whose father once played for the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills, was selected for the watchlists for Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award, and CFPA Defensive Lineman of the Year accolades.
In honor of the award, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will make a $1,000 donation to UT’s general scholarship fund. No Longhorn has ever won the Lott IMPACT trophy, which balances “personal character as well as athletic performance” for a defensive player, but, should Jeffcoat continue his defensive prowess, he’d likely be in the running.
And should the rest of the team continue its streak—senior running back DJ Monroe was also selected as a Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for last week’s performance—the Longhorns could be looking at a handful of similar awards as the season progresses.
Jackson Jeffcoat, left. Photo courtesy Texas Athletics.