Once again, the Oklahoma Sooners dominated the top annual honors in the Big 12. On Thursday, the conference named OU quarterback Jalen Hurts and women’s gymnastics star Maggie Nichols as the 2019-20 Big 12 Athletes of the Year.
It marked the third time in five years that the Sooners swept the awards. In total, nine OU athletes have won male or female honors in the last eight years.
Hurts made a last impression in just one season in Norman. The Alabama transfer finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2019 after piloting the Sooners to their fifth consecutive Big 12 title. Accounting for a total of 53 touchdowns on the season, Hurts was named first-team QB of the All-Big 12 team. The Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Nichols won the female award once before during the 2017-18 campaign. The Minnesota native saw this past season cut short as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she played a key role in launching the Sooners to a 16-0 start to the season and No. 1 national ranking. OU went 111-2 overall with three Big 12 championships and two national titles in Nichols’ four years with the program. Additionally, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A” in the USA Gymnastics scandal involving Larry Nassar in 2018, just days before that season began. She earned the 2019 NCAA Inspiration Award, the 2019 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award and was given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2018 ESPYs.