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December 1, 2006
Bears piling up honors
Baylor players will need to make space on their mantles this year for the post-season honors, which are rolling in daily.
2004 Ray Guy Award winner and 2006 Ray Guy Finalist Daniel Sepulveda leads the way for the Bears. It should come as no surprise, 2004 Ray Guy Award winner and 2006 Ray Guy Finalist, Daniel Sepulveda leads the way for the Bears considering he is No. 1 in the country with an average of 46.48 yards per punt, and placed 26 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Since the end of the season Sepulveda has been named to the AFCA and Rivals.com First-Team All-America Teams and First-Team All-Big 12 by the Big 12 coaches, San Antonio Express-News, Kansas City Star, Austin American-Statesman, and Associated Press.
Sepulveda, a former walk-on linebacker out of Dallas (Texas) Highland Park, was also named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year by the Big 12 coaches. He is Baylor's first four-time All-Big 12 honoree.
Sepulveda is followed by redshirt freshman linebacker Joseph Pawelek. In 2006 Pawelek, who was lightly recruited as a senior before choosing Baylor over offers from Washington St. and Houston, showed Big 12 coaches they should have paid more attention. He started 10 of Baylor's 12 games in 2006, led Baylor and Big 12 freshmen with 86 tackles, and also recorded a game ending interception in Baylor's triple overtime win in Boulder, Colo.
His efforts did not go unnoticed. He was named Defensive Newcomer of the Year by the Kansas City Star, San Antonio Express-News, and the Associated Press. He was the only freshman named First- or Second-Team All-Big 12 by the coaches earning Second-Team honors, and was named Honorable Mention All-Big 12 by the Associated Press.
Much like Sepulveda, Pawelek's honors do not stop at the conference level, Thursday the former two-star prospect out of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas, was named Rivals.com Second-Team Freshman All-America.
Baylor senior receivers Dominique Zeigler and Trent Shelton each picked up pos-season honors. Zeigler, second on Baylor's all-time receptions list, finished the season with 54 receptions for 741 yards and three touchdowns earning Second-Team All-Big 12 honors from the coaches and Honorable Mention from the Associated Press. Shelton led Baylor in receiving yardage in 2006 finishing with 802 yards and eight touchdowns on 53 receptions. For his efforts he was named Honorable Mention All-Big 12 by the Big 12 coaches and the Associated Press.
The Baylor secondary was also rewarded for their play.C.J. Wilson took home Associated Press Second-Team All-Big 12 and Big 12 Coaches Honorable Mention honors after recording 59 tackles, six PBUs, and four interceptions. Wilson was joined by Anthony Arline, Maurice Linguist, and Dwain Crawford on the Big 12 Coaches Honorable Mention All-Big 12 list. Arline finished with 26 tackles, a TFL, a forced fumble, a recovery, three PBUs, and two interceptions, Linguist with 71 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, a sack, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in 2006, and Crawford with 55 tackles, a fumble recovery, four PBUs, and three interceptions despite missing two games due to injury.
Senior kicker Ryan Havens received Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors from the coaches after handling all of Baylor's kicking duties as a junior and senior, and senior leader and Baylor record setting quarterback Shawn Bell was name Honorable Mention All-Big 12 by the coaches after ending his career at the top of almost every Baylor passing record.
Click here for an updated look at the senior honors.