Samaje Perine is Sooners’ male Big 12 Athlete of the Year nominee

Oklahoma career rushing leader Samaje Perine is the Sooners’ male nominee for Big 12 Athlete of the Year.

Every Big 12 school is in the process of nominating one male student-athlete and one female athlete to make up the candidate list from which a Big 12 Athlete of the Year from each gender will be selected.

The female athlete nominee is gymnast Maggie Nichols.

Fan voting will be factored into the final selection process Fans will be able to vote for their male and female preferences between July 23-25 at Big12Sports.com

Perine finished his collegiate career at Oklahoma rushing for a program-best 4,122 yards in three seasons. He ranked third in the Big 12 his junior year in 2016, averaging 106 rushing yard per game. Despite missing three games last season because of injury, Perine was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team.

Perine was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. His 49 rushing touchdowns at Oklahoma are fourth most in school history.

Nichols, a freshman this past school year, was a member of Oklahoma’s 2017 national championship squad and the only gymnast of the country to earn five regular-season All-American honors.

This past season, Nichols was co-individual national champion on the uneven horizontal bars and an NCAA First Team All-American in three different events (vault, horizontal bars and floor exercise). She scored a perfect 10 score seven times during her freshman season.

The Big 12 also recognizes the male and female Sportsperson of the Year. The Sooners swept the Sportsperson of the Year awards with Perine winning the male award and Bryce Perry, and OU distance runner, receiving the female version of the award.

The Sportsperson of the Year Award recognizes student athletes who exhibit an extraordinary sportsmanship and/or community service within the conference. The Athlete of the Year honors are awarded on the basis of athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship within the academic school year.

Four former Sooner athletes have been recipients of the Big 12 Athlete of the Year Award, and three of them were quarterbacks: Josh Heupel (2000-01), Jason White (2003-04), Sam Bradford (2008-09) and softball pitcher Keilani Ricketts (2012-13).