Bradford named Big 12's male athlete of the year

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was named the Big 12's male athlete of the year.

Nominees from each Big 12 school were selected by a media panel based on athletic performance, citizenship and academic achievement. Another element was a vote of fans at Big12sports.com.

Destinee Hooker, the Texas volleyball and track and field standout, earned the conference's female athlete of the year.

Bradford won the Heisman Trophy last season as a sophomore, directing the Sooners to their third straight Big 12 championship and a berth in the BCS national championship game. He was also a consensus All-American, the Big 12 offensive player of the year and was presented the Davey O'Brien, Sammy Bauch and Chick Harley awards.

Bradford's academics have been a prominent part of his education, failing to make an A in only two classes in his three-year career. He was an academic All-Big 12 selection in 2007 and 2008 and also was a CoSIDA academic All-American.

Other Big 12 football players who were nominated by their respective schools included Baylor tackle Jason Smith, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell.

Bradford becomes the eighth Big 12 football player to be selected and fifth quarterback to be honored. Other previous players who were selected include Missouri's Chase Daniel (2007-08), Texas' Vince Young (2005-06), Texas' Derrick Johnson (2004-05), Oklahoma's Jason White (2003-04), Oklahoma's Josh Heupel (2000-01), Texas' Ricky Williams (1998-99) and Nebraska's Grant Wistrom (1997-98).

It's hard to argue with Bradford's credentials. And the fact that his off-the-field work might be stronger than what he's accomplished on the football field makes him an extremely worthy honoree.