Four Alabama players placed on All-America team
NEW YORK — Alabama is No. 1 when it comes to All-Americans.
The second-ranked Crimson Tide placed four players on The Associated Press All-America team released Tuesday. Among them was centre Barrett Jones, who became a two-time first-team selection.
No other team had more than two players selected to the first team. The Tide also led with six players chosen to all three teams.
Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Stanford and Florida were second with four players on the three teams, though linebacker Manti Te’o was the only Fighting Irish player to make the first team.
Alabama faces top-ranked Notre Dame in the BCS championship game Jan. 7.
Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was the first-team quarterback.
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones also became two-time All-Americans.
Nine Southeastern Conference players made the first team, more than any other conference. The Pac-12 was second with six players on the first team. No other conference had more than two.
The team was voted on by a panel of 16 AP college football poll voters.
Barrett Jones, a senior who made the All-America team as a tackle last season, was joined on the first team by Alabama teammates guard Chance Warmack, linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Dee Milliner.
Offensive tackle D.J. Fluker was picked to the second team and quarterback AJ McCarron was selected to the third team.
Te’o, the Heisman finalists and winner of seven other awards — including the Maxwell, Nagurski and Butkus — is the first Notre Dame defensive player to be an AP All-American since defensive back Shane Walton in 2002.
Manziel is the first freshman to make the first team at quarterback. On Saturday, the redshirt freshman know as Johnny Football became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
Manziel set an SEC record with 4,600 total yards to rank second in the nation.
Heisman finalist Collin Klein of Kansas State was the second-team quarterback.
Ball repeated as an All-American, despite a slow start to the season and some early injuries. The senior is seventh in the nation in rushing at 133 yards per game, scored 21 touchdowns, and set the major college football record for career touchdowns. He has 82 going into the Rose Bowl.
Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, the nation’s leading rusher at 146 yards per game, was the other first-team running back.
The receivers were Southern California’s Marqise Lee, who leads the nation in catches (112) and was second in yards receiving (1,680), and Baylor’s Terrance Williams, who leads in yards with 1,764.
Stanford’s Zach Ertz was the tight end.
Joining Jones and Warmack on the offensive line were two junior tackles projected to be high first-round NFL draft picks: Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan.
“Team goals are bigger than individual goals, but one of my personal goals was to be an All-American and it’s an unbelievable feeling to reach that goal,” Lewan said Tuesday.
North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper was the other first-team guard.
West Virginia’s Tavon Austin was selected as the all-purpose player, a perfect description of the do-it-all speedster.
Austin was primarily a receiver and racked up 1,259 yards through the air.
Late in the season, coach Dana Holgorsen used Austin as a running back and against Oklahoma he the senior set a school-record with 344 yards rushing. He finished second in the nation in all-purpose yards with 230 per game, and returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns.
Tulane’s Cairo Santos was the All-American kicker after making all 21 of his field goal attempts.
On the defensive side, Te’o and Mosley were joined at linebacker by the other two-time All-American. Jones followed-up his sensational sophomore season with 12.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss.
Another SEC pass rusher highlighted the defensive line.
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had 13.5 sacks, tied for the most in the nation, playing in only 11 games. He’ll matchup against Lewan in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
“He’s very explosive player who plays every play to the whistle and never takes a snap off,” Lewan said. “It’s a great opportunity to see where I’m at and where he’s at and I’m excited about it. But it’s not about me or him, it’s about the University of Michigan playing South Carolina at the Outback Bowl.”