Four Missouri players made the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team, the SEC office announced Thursday.
Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, running back Larry Rountree III and center Trystan Castillo landed on the offensive team while defensive end Tre Williams was the Tigers’ lone representative on the defensive side. Rountree’s selection was for the all-purpose spot.
In 2016, Missouri landed wide receiver Dimetrios Mason, wide receiver Jonathan Johnson and safety Ronnell Perkins on the SEC all-freshman team. Johnson was chosen as a return specialist.
Okwuegbunam had a breakout season for the Tigers, hauling in 11 touchdowns, tops in the nation for tight ends and freshmen. Okwuegbunam’s 11 touchdowns led the team and broke Missouri legend Jeremy Maclin’s freshman touchdown record of nine. Earlier this week, Okwuegbunam was chosen second-team all-SEC by the Associated Press and the league’s coaches.
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Rountree saw significant time at running back and kick returns and was the offense’s No. 2 running back for the second half of the year after star sophomore Damarea Crockett went down because of a shoulder injury. Rountree ran for 629 yards and six touchdowns.
Castillo started at center in all 12 games, the first MU freshman to do so since Evan Boehm, a Lee’s Summit native, in 2012. Boehm is now in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. Castillo was part of an offensive line that led the nation in fewest in tackles-for-loss allowed at 2.83 per game, a number that will break the NCAA record should it hold. Missouri’s offensive line has allowed one sack per game, which leads the conference and ranks seventh in the nation.
Williams didn’t see much playing time early in the season but slowly worked his way into Missouri’s rotation after changing his practice habits, according to coach Barry Odom. Williams had three sacks in the regular season and four tackles-for-loss.
Missouri plays Texas in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 27 in Houston. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m.