Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
Terry Beckner Jr., Walter Brady and Corey Fatony were named to the all-Southeastern Conference freshman team Thurday.
Missouri’s three players on the list trailed just Alabama and Texas A&M, which had four.
Beckner, a defensive tackle out of East St. Louis, Ill., was one of the most highly recruited defensive linemen of the 2015 class, and he made an immediate impact on a young Missouri defensive line. Before suffering season-ending injuries Nov. 14 against BYU, Beckner recorded eight tackles for loss, 27 tackles — 13 of which were solo — and three sacks. No Missouri tackle had more tackles for loss, and Beckner positioned himself atop that rotation with juniors Rickey Hatley and Josh Augusta.
Brady also excelled on Missouri’s defensive line his freshman season, recording seven sacks, most in the nation by a freshman and tied with Charles Harris for a team high. Brady was second on the team with 12.5 tackles for loss — best among SEC freshmen — and he also had an interception, two pass breakups, seven quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery. He was named to the watch list for the Hendricks Award, given to the nation’s best defensive end.
Fatony earned a starting spot as the team’s punter in fall camp and went on to set a single-season Missouri record with 81 punts. Fatony was on the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter, and was named the Ray Guy National Player of the Week in October after punting nine times for 430 yards (47.8 avg.) against Florida. He pinned the Gators inside their red zone four times, had three punts go longer than 50 yards and set a career-best with a 61-yard punt — a mark he matched against Vanderbilt.
Fatony was named Missouri’s Special Forces Player of the Year, given to the team’s top special-teams player. His net average of 42.9 yards per punt was top nationally among freshmen, and eighth all-time at Missouri.
Fatony and Beckner were two of eight true freshmen to see the field for Missouri this season.
Missouri has had five players named to the all-SEC freshman team since joining the conference in 2012. Kicker Andrew Baggett was the first, in 2012, and quarterback Maty Mauk was honored in 2013.
Sports Illustrated announced its 2015 All-America team Thursday, and Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers was a first-team honoree.
Brothers, whose 152 tackles led the country, was named a first-team All-American by CBS Sports on Wednesday. He received second-team honors Thursday from the Walter Camp Foundation and Tuesday by USA Today.
Along with the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News, Walter Camp’s nominations factor into whether a player is considered a consensus All-American. The other publications’ honorees have not yet been announced.
Brothers, a senior, is eighth all-time among Missouri players with 358 career tackles. His 152 tackles this year rank fourth in single-season school history.
Temple senior Tyler Matakevich was chosen as a first-team linebacker by Walter Camp and USA Today and is a second-teamer on Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports’ lists. Alabama senior Reggie Ragland and Notre Dame junior Jaylon Smith were first-team linebackers according to all publications.
Also Wednesday, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame announced former Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel will be a member of the 2016 class.
Pinkel, who resigned after the 2015 season because of health concerns, won 118 games at Missouri, more than any other coach, and led the Tigers to five division titles and 10 bowl games in his 15 seasons in Columbia.
Also to be inducted are former Missouri track and field standout Natasha Brown and the 1966 Missouri football team, which won the Sugar Bowl.
The enshrinement is scheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 31 at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield.