College Football

ACC lands most players on AP preseason All-America team

Posted August 22
Updated August 23

The ACC adds another layer to the football conference dominance conversation with seven players among the 13 players named to the Associated Press preseason All-America football first team.

The seven ACC players chosen to the first team are defensive backs Derwin James and Tarvarus McFadden of Florida State; all-purpose back Quadree Henderson of Pitt; defensive ends Harold Landry of Boston College and Bradley Chubb of NC State, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence of Clemson and cornerback Jaire Alexander of Louisville.

Five additional ACC players were chosen to the AP preseason second team in Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser and safety Quin Blanding; Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson; NC State all-purpose back Jaylen Samuels; and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Heisman Trophy contenders Sam Darnold, a quarterback at USC, and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley are the most heralded names on the list.

Darnold passed for 453 yards and five touchdowns in USC's 52-49 victory over the Nittany Lions. The sophomore comes into this season leading No. 4 USC on a nine-game winning streak.

The AP All-America team is the longest-running annual honor roll of the nation's top college football players, dating to 1925, and is usually released after the season.

Darnold was voted to the first team by a panel of 51 Top 25 voters, edging out Heisman winner Lamar Jackson, who is the second-team quarterback on the lists released Tuesday.

Joining Darnold and Barkley in the backfield is LSU running back Derrius Guice, who spent the last two seasons as back up to former All-America Leonard Fournette.

The first-team defense is led by two players who were postseason All-Americans in 2016: Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who made it to the first team as a freshman last season, and Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. Florida State placed two defensive backs on the first-team with cornerback Tavarus McFadden and safety Derwin James, who missed most of last year with a knee injury.

ALL-AMERICA NOTES

Conference breakdown for the first team:

ACC — 7 players.

SEC — 5.

Big Ten — 4.

Pac-12 — 4.

Big 12 — 3.

American — 1.

Independent — 1.

COMEBACK

Washington linebacker Azeem Victor is another preseason All-American coming back from an injury. Like James, Victor blew out his knee, though his injury came in November in Washington's only regular-season loss against USC. Victor seemed to be on his way to an All-America season last year. He was leading the Huskies with 68 tackles when he went down.

REPEATERS

— Washington State guard Cody O'Connell was the only offensive player selected to the first team who was also a 2016 All-American.

— Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky, who was second in the nation last season with a 47.7-yard average, was selected to the first team after being an All-American last year.

___

FIRST TEAM: OFFENSE

Quarterback — Sam Darnold, sophomore, Southern California.

Running backs — Saquon Barkley, junior, Penn State; Derrius Guice, junior, LSU.

Tackles — Orlando Brown, junior, Oklahoma; Connor Williams, junior, Texas.

Guards — Quenton Nelson, senior, Notre Dame; Cody O'Connell, senior, Washington State.

Center — Billy Price, senior, Ohio State.

Tight end — Mike Gesicki, junior, Penn State.

Wide receivers — James Washington, senior, Oklahoma State; Christian Kirk, junior, Texas A&M.

All-purpose player — Quadree Henderson, junior, Pittsburgh.

Kicker — Daniel Carlson, senior, Auburn.

DEFENSE

Ends — Harold Landry, senior, Boston College; Bradley Chubb, senior, North Carolina State.

Tackles — Ed Oliver, sophomore, Houston; Dexter Lawrence, sophomore, Clemson.

Linebackers — Arden Key, junior, LSU; Josey Jewell, senior, Iowa; Azeem Victor, senior, Washington.

Cornerbacks — Tavarus McFadden, junior, Florida State; Jaire Alexander, junior, Louisville.

Safeties — Derwin James, junior, Florida State; Minkah Fitzpatrick, junior, Alabama.

Punter — Mitch Wishnowsky, junior, Utah.

___

SECOND TEAM: OFFENSE

Quarterback — Lamar Jackson, junior, Louisville.

Running backs — Nick Chubb, senior, Georgia; Bo Scarbrough, junior, Alabama.

Tackles — Mike McGlinchey, senior, Notre Dame; Jonah Williams, sophomore, Alabama.

Guards — Will Hernandez, senior, UTEP; Braden Smith, senior, Auburn.

Center — Frank Ragnow, senior, Arkansas.

Tight end — Troy Fumagalli, senior, Wisconsin.

Wide receivers — Calvin Ridley, junior, Alabama; Courtland Sutton, junior, SMU.

All-purpose player — Jaylen Samuels, senior, North Carolina State.

Kicker — Eddy Pineiro, sophomore, Florida.

DEFENSE

Ends — Tyquan Lewis, senior, Ohio State; Rashan Gary, sophomore, Michigan.

Tackles — Christian Wilkins, junior, Clemson; Vita Vea, junior, Washington.

Linebackers — Micah Kiser, senior, Virginia; Tegray Scales, senior, Indiana; Cameron Smith, junior, Southern California.

Cornerbacks — Duke Dawson, senior, Florida; Iman Marshall, junior, Southern California.

Safeties — Quin Blanding, senior, Virginia; Godwin Igewbuike, senior, Northwestern.

Punter — JK Scott, senior, Alabama.

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