Athlon Sports has named 10 WVU football players on its preseason All-Big 12 teams with the release of its annual first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for the 2021 season.
The magazine’s selections are based on how it believes the players will perform in 2021. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2021 all-conference team was based on projecting the best for the upcoming year. Team strength does not play a role in selections, and these are the best individual players at each position in the league for 2021.
Running back Leddie Brown was named to the second team offense, and defensive linemen Akheem Mesidor and Dante Stills and safety Alonzo Addae were named to the second team defense.
Brown, a Big 12 first-team selection by the coaches in 2020, led the Mountaineer ground game with 1,010 yards and nine touchdowns. He also added 31 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Mesidor, a Freshman All-American, led the team in quarterback sacks (5) and was fourth in tackles for loss (6.5). Stills led the Mountaineers with 10.5 tackles for loss and had two sacks and two pass breakups. Addae, a Big 12 second-team selection in 2020, was second on the team in tackles (66) and tied for the team lead in interceptions (2).
Offensively on the third team is receiver Winston Wright Jr. and offensive linemen Zach Frazier (C) and Doug Nester (OL). Linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo is the defensive representative.
Wright Jr., an All-Big 12 second-team performer in 2020, led WVU with 47 catches for 553 yards and had two touchdowns. Frazier, a freshman All-American, played in 10 games and started nine as a true freshman, and Nestor started the past two years at Virginia Tech before transferring in January. Chandler-Semedo, the Liberty Bowl defensive MVP, was WVU’s third-leading tackler with 64 stops, four tackles for loss and an interception to seal the bowl win over Army.
Safety Sean Mahone and kickoff returner Wright Jr. were fourth-team selections.
Mahone, a PFF College Second-Team All-Big honoree, was fifth on the team with 54 tackles, had a fumble recovery and an interception and had four pass breakups. Wright Jr. led the Mountaineers with 20 kickoff returns for 425 yards with a long of 37 yards.
Oklahoma led with 18 selections on the teams, Iowa State had 17, Oklahoma State and TCU had 14 each and WVU and Baylor were next each with 10 players on the list.