Tony Fields II is the 2020 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the year, an achievement that doesn’t quite explain how impactful he was for West Virginia this season.
The award recognizes the standout first-year, non-freshman player in the conference and Fields definitely stood out among his Mountaineer teammates and Big 12 competitors. He ended the 2020 regular season with 88 tackles in nine games, two shy of the conference leader (Garrett Wallow, 90). On top of his 9.8 tackles per game, Fields picked off one pass and recorded a sack.
Fields was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team alongside Leddie Brown and Darius Stills.
The Desert Pines, Nevada, native enrolled at WVU as a graduate transfer from Arizona this summer. He was not only a leader on the field but in the locker room. Fields announced he is headed for the NFL after just one season at WVU, declining to take advantage of the “free” year of eligibility offered by the NCAA to all players this season. It’s hard to blame him as he recorded more than 10 total tackles in five games this year.