Doc's Sports College Football All-American Team
by Robert Ferringo - 9/2/2009
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In college football it's possible for one or two players to take over a game. Whether it's on offense, defense, or even special teams, one player can be the determining factor in a win or a loss not just for his team, his fans, and his school, but also those weekend wizards who wager on these amateur games of violence and chance.
Below is Doc's Sports Services second All-American Team. It is comprised of simply a first-team offense, a first-team defense, and some specific special teams standouts. The list was comprised using individual ballots from handicappers and writers.
These guys are the best of the best, the ruling class of college football's elite. Here is Doc's Sports 2009 College Football All-American Team:
(* Denotes a consensus first-team selection)
QB - Tim Tebow, Florida
Superman himself. The Chosen one just barely edged Sam Bradford for the first team slot. But it's hard to argue with one of the most accomplished resumes in college football history. For perspective: Tebow enters the year 10 RUSHING touchdowns away from setting the all-time SEC record. Wow.
RB - Jahvid Best, Cal
Speed thrills. And Best is a burner of the first order. This year he'll likely lock up his third straight All-Pac-10 First Team selection and is a darkhorse to hit the Downtown Athletic Club this December.
RB - Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
Hunter isn't a household name but he will be. He more than doubled his rushing output after a promising freshman season and this year is a threat for 1,800 yards. With video-game moves Hunter is a 5-8 bolt of lightning that could help decide if it's OU or UT playing in the national title game.
WR - Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State*
Last year Michael Crabtree was a consensus Doc's All-American on offense so Bryant is in real good company. And Bryant - get this - was actually better than Crabtree last year. It's true. He led the Big 12 in receiving yards per game, scoring, touchdown receptions, punt return average and punt return touchdowns. This guy is sick.
WR - Jordan Shipley, Texas
Kind of a surprise pick in this capper's opinion. But Shipley is the favorite target of Heisman hopeful Colt McCoy. He holds most every significant Texas high school receiving record and if he wanted to I think he could have been an all-conference corner.
TE - Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
His season was nearly derailed over a ridiculous offseason arrest stemming from a seatbelt violation. But the Mackey Award finalist is back and likely to be the top receiver for one of the nation's most explosive offenses.
C - Kris O'Dowd, USC
O'Dowd is the leader of one of the best offensive lines in the nation. And it's his responsibility to keep true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley clean and upright this season.
G - Rodney Hudson, Florida State
Hudson has earned ACC Player of the Week honors four times in his first two years at FSU. That's right: an offensive lineman earning POTW honors. You have to really stand out to pull that one off.
G - Thomas Austin, Clemson
Mel Kiper Jr. rated Austin as the top center in the nation for the 2010 draft. So what does that tell you when the guy makes first team All-American as a guard? It tells me he's exceptional.
OT - Ciron Black, LSU*
Black will be 23 years old this year (which would make him a freshman at BYU!). But that's not what makes him one of the best players in the country. I would attribute that to the fact that he is a 6-5, 322-pound refrigerator. That can move.
OT - Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
Hello, franchise left tackle. Okung is 6-5, 305 pounds with a wicked wingspan and great technique. He is also the third OSU player on this team, which means they are going to be pretty hard to stop this year.
KR - Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati
Gilyard edged out Brandon James of Florida and will be one of the most important players in the Big East this year. He's the team's top wideout and is just one of those guys that's a threat for six every time he touches the ball.
K - Thomas Weber, Arizona State
Weber is one of three players making back-to-back appearances on this list. He actually had a down year after scoring the Groza Award in 2007.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DE - George Selvie, South Florida*
A two-time All American, Selvie is a savage beast on the edge. He had a "down" year in 2008. But let's see how you do facing constant triple teams and being the focus of every offense that you play against.
DE - Jerry Hughes, TCU
Hughes was the rock of the nation's top-ranked defense last year. And he played his best against the top competition, including seven tackles against No. 2 Oklahoma and a key late-game sack against No. 9 Boise State last year. Just a dominator.
DT - Terrence Cody, Alabama
Mount Cody is a massive hulk of flesh and looks like a man against boys while spearheading one of the top defenses in the country last year. He's listed at 365 pounds but has to be a Hershey Kiss above 380. He can't be blocked one-on-one.
LB - Brandon Spikes, Florida
The leader of the national champion's defense, Spikes is a four-year starter and has two national titles on his resume. He's a punishing hitter that is just always around the ball.
LB - Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
This guy can do it all. He had three interceptions last year and took two of them back for touchdowns, all while notching 155 tackles (most in the Big 12) and 19 tackles for loss. Speed is his game and he is quick to drop the hammer.
LB - Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
I was a bit surprised by this one but the junior is the key player on one of the top up-and-coming defenses around. Like "Spoon," speed is the key to Sturdivant's game. He's a converted quarterback that will be moved into the middle this year.
LB - Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
The youngest player on this team, Lewis is just a sophomore heading into this season. But he certainly made an impression in his freshman season. He made the All-Big 12 first team and was an absolute demon on the weak side.
CB - Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
Lindley has started every game of his college career and is one of the more underrated players in the nation. Over the last three seasons he has spent his time tracking some of the best wideouts in the country. If you're not sure about him just watch how he handles A.J. Green and Julio Jones this year.
CB - Syd'Quan Thompson, California
Like Lindley, Thompson has started every game in his college career and has spent three seasons tracking down the elite wideouts in college football. Also an accomplished punt returner, Thompson is set to be a first rounder next April.
S - Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Tennessee fans have to be excited about how genius NFL defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is going to manage to use Berry and fellow AA candidate Rico McCoy.
S - Taylor Mays, S, USC
Mays is the third player to be on Doc's AA team back-to-back years. And I have to say that I am absolutely stunned that he wasn't a consensus pick this year. He told the NFL to wait and now is the only player back from one of USC's all-time best defenses.
P - Zoltan Mesko, Michigan
At least Michigan has something to look forward to this year! And with their offense in as rough of a shape as it is, Mesko
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