Sporting News 2017 college football All-Americans
The Sporting News 2017 college football All-America team is here.
SN Player of the Year Baker Mayfield leads the offense, while N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb is the centerpiece of the defense. This year’s team features the usual tough decisions, especially on the defensive line.
Sporting News is one of five outlets that determine consensus All-Americans, along with the Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Associated Press, the Football Writers Association of America and the American Football Coaches Association. Sporting News has been part of that panel since 1959.
Here are your 2017 All-Americans:
1 QB: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
The 2017 Sporting News Player of the Year did it all for the Sooners this season, passing for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns while rushing for 310 yards and another five scores. That was good enough to earn him the Heisman Trophy and OU a berth in the College Football Playoff.
2 RB: Bryce Love, Stanford
The Heisman Trophy finalist burst onto the radar early and finished the year averaging 8.3 yards per carry en route to 1,973 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also even played hurt through the Pac-12 Conference championship game.
3 RB: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Penny led the country with 2,027 rushing yards and finished tied for third in the FBS with 19 touchdowns. He electrified with his combination of speed and power, and he closed the year with four straight games of at least 200 yards.
4 WR: James Washington, Oklahoma State
Washington lived up to his billing as the next big-time Cowboys receiver. He led the country with 1,423 yards, 118.6 yards per game and 20.6 yards per catch. Washington was the best deep threat in the game in 2017.
5 WR: David Sills, West Virginia
Sills, a converted quarterback, became the go-to receiver in the Mountaineers’ offense in the spring and didn’t stop in the fall. He scored a nation-leading 18 touchdowns. He had seven games with multiple scores.
6 TE: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Andrews won the 2017 Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end, and his average of 15.6 yards per reception showed his ability to get downfield and make the big catch. Andrews also had eight touchdown receptions.
7 C: Billy Price, Ohio State
The Rimington Trophy winner moved from guard to center this season and didn’t miss a beat — or a start — for the Buckeyes as he completed a prolific career. He holds the school record with 54 consecutive starts. Ohio State averaged 249.4 rushing yards per game in 2017 thanks in large part to Price.
8 G: Cody O'Connell, Washington State
O’Connell was a first-team Sporting News All-American last year, and he stayed on the same path as a dominant interior lineman for the Cougars in 2017.
9 G: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Nelson’s decision to return to school helped solidify a Notre Dame offensive line that paved the way for 279.1 rushing yards per game, which ranks third-highest among teams that don't run the triple option. That production helped the Irish to a 9-3 season.
10 T: Mitch Hyatt, Clemson
The five-star tackle continues to be a force for the Tigers, and he contributed to 40 rushing touchdowns in 2017. He has allowed just 1.5 sacks over the past two seasons.
11 T: Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Brown is a mammoth lineman who paved the way for a Sooners offense that averaged a nation-leading 589 yards per game (including 215.9 rushing yards per game). Brown will be back in focus in the College Football Playoff.
12 DL: Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
There wasn’t a more disruptive player in college football this season. The Bronko Nagurski Award winner totaled 10 sacks and 23 tackles for loss, and even played through a gruesome finger injury against Pittsburgh.
13 DL: Maurice Hurst Jr., Michigan
Hurst graded out as the top interior defensive player according to Pro Football Focus, but he was more than that. He was also the Wolverines' emotional leader up front and a constant disruptive force in the middle. He finished 2017 with 58 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
14 DL: Christian Wilkins, Clemson
Clemson’s defensive line features so many dominant players, it’s impossible to pick just one. Wilkins gets the nod because of his versatility on the interior. He compiled 52 tackles, five sacks and nine tackles for loss this season for the ACC champions.
15 DL: Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State
Mata’afa earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors after a fantastic season in which he totaled 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss and emerged as a force under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
16 LB: Josey Jewell, Iowa
Jewell tied for first in the FBS with 11.4 tackles per game and finished with 125 total tackles despite missing a game because of injury. He had double-digit stops in seven games, including 16 total tackles against Penn State and Michigan State.
17 LB: Roquan Smith, Georgia
Smith’s dominant performance in the SEC championship game capped a season in which he finished with 113 tackles and 5.5 sacks for a unit that ranked fourth in the FBS in total defense.
18 LB: Micah Kiser, Virginia
Kiser’s consistency over a four-year career was remarkable. He tallied 132 tackles and five sacks this season while leading the Cavaliers to the postseason for the first time since 2011. Kiser also won the Campbell Trophy for his accomplishments off the field.
19 CB: Josh Jackson, Iowa
Jackson enjoyed a breakout season in which he tied for first in the FBS with seven interceptions. During a two-week stretch against Ohio State and Wisconsin — Iowa’s two toughest opponents — he had five picks and two returns for touchdowns.
20 CB: Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Ward extended the line of All-American cornerbacks at Ohio State, and he did that by developing into a man-coverage specialist. Ward finished with two interceptions and led the Buckeyes with 15 pass breakups this season.
21 S: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Fitzpatrick remains the jack-of-all-trades in Alabama’s secondary, and his ability to roam in coverage and hover near the line of scrimmage is invaluable. The winner of the Jim Thorpe and Chuck Bednarik awards helped the Tide make the playoff for the fourth straight season.
22 S: DeShon Elliott, Texas
Elliott put together an excellent all-around season for the Longhorns. He finished with six interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns; 63 tackles; nine pass breakups; and three forced fumbles.
23 P: Michael Dickson, Texas
The 2017 recipient of the Ray Guy Award led the nation with 48.4 yards per punt, and his average has increased each of the past two seasons. He finished first among FBS punters with 3,532 punting yards in 2017.
24 K: Matt Gay, Utah
Gay continues a standard of excellence on special teams for the Utes. The 2017 Lou Groza Award winner connected on a nation-leading 27 field goals, missing only four times. Gay also didn’t miss any of his 37 extra point attempts.
25 RET: Dante Pettis, Washington
Why would anyone kick to Pettis? He racked up 428 punt return yards and four punt return touchdowns in 2017 (both best in the nation), averaging 19.5 yards per return. He holds the FBS record with nine career punt return touchdowns.
26 ATH: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Barkley finished second in the FBS with 2,154 all-purpose yards and found multiple ways to contribute to Penn State’s 10-2 season. He rushed for 1,134 yards and 16 touchdowns, had 594 receiving yards for three touchdowns and had 426 kick return yards and two touchdowns.
27 Second-team offense
QB: Lamar Jackson, Louisville
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
RB: Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
WR: Anthony Miller, Memphis
WR: Steve Ishmael, Syracuse
TE: Mike Gesicki, Penn State
C: Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
G: Braden Smith, Auburn
G: David Bright, Stanford
T: Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
T: Michael Dieter, Wisconsin
28 Second-team defense
DL: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
DL: Nick Bosa, Ohio State
DL: Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois
DL: Ed Oliver, Houston
LB: Malik Jefferson, Texas
LB: T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin
LB: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
CB: Carlton Davis, Auburn
CB: Donte Jackson, LSU
S: Derwin James, Florida State
S: Quin Blanding, Virginia
29 Second-team specialists
P: Johnny Townsend, Florida
K: Daniel Carlson, Auburn
RET: Tony Pollard, Memphis
ATH: Marcus Green, Louisiana-Monroe