LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt junior defensive end Lonnie Phelps Jr. was named the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday. Phelps made his presence known in his KU debut with 7 tackles, 3.0 sacks and 4.0 tackles-for-loss.
Phelps, a transfer from the University of Miami (OH), posted the most sacks by a Jayhawk since 2016, while his 4.0 tackles-for-loss were the most since 2017.
Phelps led a defensive unit that accounted for 12.0 tackles-for-loss, 5.0 sacks, and limited Tennessee Tech to 97 passing yards and 190 total yards of offense. The last time the Jayhawk defense kept an opponent under 100 yards of passing and under 200 yards of total offense came on Sept. 4, 2010 against North Dakota State.
According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Phelps graded out as a 96.4, which is the highest among defensive ends in the country during week one. Phelps’ 3.0 sacks are tied for the second most in college football this season.
Phelps becomes the first Jayhawk to win Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors since Joe Dineen on November 12, 2018 and the first Kansas defensive end to earn the award since November 19, 2016 (Dorance Armstrong Jr.).
The Jayhawks will open Big 12 play on September 10, when the Jayhawks travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. CT on ESPN+.