Sports Illustrated NCAA Football All America Team Announced
December 12, 2017
The quarterback position, like the Heisman vote, was a no‐brainer, but the list of standout performances worthy of All-America recognition elsewhere on the field was deep enough to force SI's staff of writers and editors to make some tough choices.
QB: BAKER MAYFIELD, OKLAHOMA (UNANIMOUS)
Mayfield threw just five interceptions all year (and none after Nov. 4) and shone brightest in the Sooners' biggest games, taking the drama out of the Heisman race with weeks to spare.
RB: BRYCE LOVE, STANFORD
Love had Barry Sanders's single‐season rushing record in his sights when a midseason high ankle sprain curbed his explosiveness down the stretch—but only slightly. After posting a run of 60 yards or more in six of his first seven games, he failed to break one that long in his final five games, finishing the year with a measly 1,973 yards and 8.3 yards per carry.
RB: RASHAAD PENNY, SAN DIEGO STATE
In addition to outdueling Love in San Diego State's upset win over Stanford, Penny closed the year out with four straight 200‐plus‐yard games.
WR: JAMES WASHINGTON, OKLAHOMA STATE
Washington led the nation's receivers with 1,423 yards and was able to walk in several of his 12 touchdowns after he and Cowboys QB Mason Rudolph blew the top off opposing secondaries.
WR: DAVID SILLS V, WEST VIRGINIA
If Sills caught a pass, it was likely for six: A stunning 18 of his 60 receptions in 2017 were touchdowns, and he turned in seven multi‐score games for the high‐flying Mountaineers.
TE: MARK ANDREWS, OKLAHOMA
Andrews led the Sooners in receptions and paced the nation's tight ends with 906 receiving yards, thriving as Mayfield's most dependable target in all game situations.
OT: ORLANDO BROWN, OKLAHOMA
Brown was a wire‐to‐wire SI All‐America pick, making the first team in the preseason and at midseason. He's a big part of the reason Mayfield was so upset Oklahoma wasn't a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation's best O‐line.
OT: MIKE MCGLINCHEY, NOTRE DAME
McGlinchey is bound for the NFL, where he'll be one of the most coveted tackle prospects in the class, a 6'8:, 315‐pound technician.
G: BEAU BENZSCHAWEL, WISCONSIN
Benzschawel was a key cog in the predictably punishing Badgers line that set up true freshman Jonathan Taylor to pile up 1,847 rushing yards in his debut season.
G: QUENTON NELSON, NOTRE DAME
Nelson and McGlinchey helped pave the way for running back Josh Adams to construct a dark‐horse Heisman campaign as the Irish worked their way into the national title race.
C: BILLY PRICE, OHIO STATE
Price didn't miss a beat moving from guard to center ahead of his senior campaign, providing stability amid Ohio State's quarterback uncertainty and setting up freshman J.K. Dobbins for a breakout.
DL: BRADLEY CHUBB, NC STATE (UNANIMOUS)
The only unanimous defensive selection on this year's first team, Chubb was a regular presence in ACC backfields, racking up 10.0 sacks and finishing second in the nation with 26.0 tackles for loss.
DL: HERCULES MATA'AFA, WASHINGTON STATE
Mata'afa landed in the top 10 nationally with 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss—and he missed two games and sat out virtually the entire second half of a third after a targeting ejection in the Apple Cup.
DL: MAT BOESEN, TCU
Boesen was a steadily disruptive presence all year long for the Horned Frogs' stingy defense, but he exploded for 5.5 of his 11.5 sacks in one record‐setting game against Baylor.
LB: JOSEY JEWELL, IOWA
The heart and soul of the Hawkeyes' disciplined defense, Jewell compiled 125 total tackles, the third‐most in the country.
LB: ROQUAN SMITH, GEORGIA
Smith's sideline‐to‐sideline speed set the tone for Georgia's senior‐laden defensive unit all year. He had 10 solo tackles in the Bulldogs' first SEC championship game win since 2005.
LB: DORIAN O'DANIEL, CLEMSON
On the Tigers' deep, unrelenting defense, O'Daniel played more snaps than anyone but second‐team selection Clelin Ferrell, pacing the team with 95 total tackles and two pick‐sixes.
LB: JEFF HOLLAND, AUBURN
Auburn's front seven helped elevate the Tigers from also‐rans at midseason to SEC title game participants, and Holland led the team by wide margins in sacks (9.0), tackles for loss (12.0) and quarterback hurries (22).
CB: JOSH JACKSON, IOWA
Jackson tied for the national lead in interceptions with seven, but his two against Ohio State—including a one‐handed snag in the red zone—was the defining performance of the season's most memorable upset.
CB: CARLTON DAVIS, AUBURN
The 6'1" junior was rarely tested by opposing quarterbacks but shined when he was, turning in a team‐leading 11 pass breakups.
S: MINKAH FITZPATRICK, ALABAMA
The transcendent star of the latest relentless Crimson Tide defense, Fitzpatrick did a little bit of everything patrolling the secondary of a unit that finished second nationally in yards allowed and first in points allowed.
S: DESHON ELLIOTT, TEXAS
Elliott emerged as a big‐play artist for the Longhorns early in the season, taking a pair of interceptions back for touchdowns. His playmaking ability at 6'2" and 210 pounds makes his early jump to the NFL completely understandable.
K: MATT GAY, UTAH
Gay connected on 27 of his 31 field goal attempts, going 5‐of‐6 from outside 50 yards, and didn't miss an extra point all year.
P: JOHNNY TOWNSEND, FLORIDA
Townsend had a lot of work to do as the Gators' offense sputtered from the opening games of the season, and he delivered with the second‐best average in the country at 47.5 yards per punt.
RETURN MAN: DANTE PETTIS, WASHINGTON
No player has found the end zone on special teams more often than Pettis, who returned his ninth career punt for a touchdown in November, capping a year in which he took it the distance four times.
ALL‐PURPOSE: SAQUON BARKLEY, PENN STATE
Barkley's season‐long rushing numbers were reined in by defenses dead‐set on avoiding getting gashed on the ground, but he remained a unique weapon in the passing game (594 receiving yards) and took two opening kickoffs back for touchdowns in 2017.
QB: Lamar Jackson, Louisville. RB&colo; Kerryon Johnson, Auburn; Saquon Barkley, Penn State. WR: Michael Gallup, Colorado State; Anthony Miller, Memphis. TE: Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin. OT: Isaiah Wynn, Georgia; Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan. G: Will Hernandez, UTEP; Braden Smith, Auburn. C: Bradley Bozeman, Alabama.
DL: Vita Vea, Washington; Ed Oliver, Houston; Clelin Ferrell, Clemson. LB: Malik Jefferson, Texas; Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois; Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma; Joe Dineen, Kansas. CB: Parry Nickerson, Tulane; Julian Love, Notre Dame. S: Ronnie Harrison, Alabama; Jaquan Johnson, Miami. K: Daniel Carlson, Auburn. P: Michael Dickson, Texas. Return: Tony Pollard, Memphis. All‐Purpose: Joel Lanning, Iowa State.
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