For the second straight season, the Cowboys had a Freshman All-American defender.
Kendal Daniels, already named the Big 12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year, was named to the Football Writers Association of America’s Freshman All-America team Thursday. A 6-foot-4, 205-pound redshirt freshman out of Beggs, Daniels had 71 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, five pass breakups, four quarterback hurries and a forced fumble for the Cowboys in 2022.
Daniels picks up the honor the year after Collin Oliver did the same. Daniels ranked fourth among all FBS freshmen in interceptions, and his 5.5 tackles per game ranked fifth among all FBS freshmen.
It didn’t take Daniels long to make an impact in his redshirt freshman season, picking off a pass in the Cowboys’ season-opener against Central Michigan. His second pick of the year came in the Cowboys’ win against Texas. And then in the Cowboys’ win against Iowa State, Daniels forced two turnovers, first with a teeth-rattling hit that caused a fumble before intercepting his third pass of the season.
In what’s been a transfer-filled offseason, Daniels has — on a few occasions — reaffirmed his commitment to Oklahoma State. On Dec. 5, when the portal opened, he made a social media post with Oliver saying “Let’s go again.” He has also done an NIL deal with a car dealership in Stillwater, and when quarterback Alan Bowman committed to OSU out of the transfer portal, Daniels responded “See you in spring ball.”
Daniels is the only Big 12 defender in the FWAA’s Freshman All-America team. Other Big 12ers to pick up the honor are Baylor running back Richard Reese and Texas offensive lineman Kelvin Banks.