Jack Allen

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson,file

Heisman winner Derrick Henry, finalists and more fill Football Writers All-American team

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The bulk of the college football award season may be behind us, but the key All-American teams continue to be released in the coming days before the NCAA assembles this year’s list of consensus All-Americans. The Associated Press released its All-American list on Sunday. On Monday it was time for the Football Writers Association of American to release its annual list of All-Americans. Heisman Trophy winning running back from Alabama Derrick Henry was an easy pick for first team honors, as were fellow finalists Deshaun Watson of Clemson and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford. McCaffrey did not make the cut at running back, but was given first team honors as a kick returner.

Joining Henrey as first team All-American running backs are Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Leonard Fournette of LSU. Fournette and Henry each earned first-team honors from the AP as well, while Cook made the second team cut.

First Team Offense

  • QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
  • RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State
  • RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
  • RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
  • WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
  • WR Josh Doctson, TCU
  • OL Spencer Drango, Baylor
  • OL Joshua Garnett, Stanford
  • OL Jason Springs, Indiana
  • OL Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
  • C Ryan Kelly, Alabama

First Team Defense

  • DL Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
  • DL Shaq Lawson, Clemson
  • DL Carl Nassib, Penn State
  • DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
  • LB Tyler Matakevich, Temple
  • LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
  • LB Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
  • DB Jeremy Cash, Duke
  • DB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
  • DB Desmond King, Iowa
  • DB Shawun Lurry, Northern Illinois

First Team Special Teams

  • K Ka’imi Fairbairn, UCLA
  • P Tom Hackett, Utah
  • KR Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
  • PR William Likely, Maryland

Second Team All-America Team

Offense: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma; RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State; RB Royce Freeman, Oregon; WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame; WR Roger Lewis, Bowling Green; WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC; OL Jack Conklin, Michigan State; OL Taylor Decker, Ohio State; OL Tyler Johnstone, Oregon; OL Landon Turner, North Carolina; C Jack Allen, Michigan State. Defense: DL Andrew Billings, Baylor; DL DeForest Buckner, Oregon; DL Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State; DL; Sheldon Day, Notre Dame; LB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri; LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame; LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma; DB Eddie Jackson, Alabama; DB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan; DB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State; DB Darian Thompson, Boise State. Specialists: K Jaden Oberkrom, TCU; P Michael Carrizosa, San José State; KR Evan Berry, Tennessee; PR Cameron Sutton, Tennessee.

52 college football centers named to Rimington Trophy watch list

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If your college football team has a center, there is a decent chance he has been named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, released Tuesday morning. Of the 128 teams in FBS and roughly 41 percent of those teams are represented on the Rimington Trophy watch list. Fortunately, this is reduced from the 64 names that appeared on the 2014 watch list.

The award for best center in college football has been presented by the Boomer Esiason Foundation since 2000. Auburn’s Reese Dismukes was handed the trophy last season. Michigan is the only school with multiple Rimington Trophy winners, although the Wolverines do not have a player on this watch list. This year’s Rimington Trophy winner will be recognized on January 16, 2016.

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2015 Rimington Trophy Watch List

Siaosi Aiono, Utah

Jack Allen, Michigan State

Nick Beamish, Central Michigan

Dalton Bennett, Troy

Austin Blythe, Iowa

Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati

Bo Bonnheim, Fresno State

Evan Boehm, Missouri

Jacoby Boren, Ohio State

Jake Brendel, UCLA

Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech

Josh Chester, Middle Tennessee

Lucas Crowley, North Carolina

Ryan Crozier, UConn

Ty Darlington, Oklahoma

Taylor Doyle, Texas

Kyle Friend, Temple

Kyle Fuller, Baylor

Max Halpin, Western Kentucky

Matt Hugenberg, Army

Joey Hunt, TCU

Jake Hurcombe, Eastern Michigan

Jared Kaster, Texas Tech

Nick Kelly, Arizona State

Ryan Kelly, Alabama

Alex Kelley, Colorado

Kayden Kirby, North Texas

Alan Knott, South Carolina

Robert Kugler, Purdue

Gabe Kuhn, Memphis

Taylor Lasecki, SMU

Eric Lee, UTEP

Nick Martin, Notre Dame

Mike Matthews, Texas A&M

Tim McAullife, Bowling Green

Josh Mitchell, Oregon State

Andrew Ness, Northern Illinois

Ryan Norton, Clemson

Alex Officer, Pittsburgh

Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia

Ethan Pocic, LSU

Spencer Pulley, Vanderbilt

Jacob Richard, Ball State

Michael Selby, Marshall

Graham Shuler, Stanford

Mitch Smothers, Arkansas

Matt Sparks, UMass

Austin Stephens, Utah State

Jon Toth, Kentucky

Max Tuerk, USC

Dan Voltz, Wisconsin

Kirby Wixson, Louisiana Tech

Michigan State center scores only TD of Spartans’ spring game

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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was pushing to get 50,000 fans to show up at Spartan Stadium for the annual spring game, but he had to settle for 48,000 fans instead. That was still good enough for a school record for the spring game.

The 48,000 fans that did show up were treated to a handful of trick plays and familiar dominance in the trenches. The only touchdown of the game was scored by center Jack Allen, who found space on his way for a short touchdown run after 300-pound guard Donavon Clark rumbled 13 yards on a lateral from quarterback Connor Cook. Do not expect to see too much of that during he regular season, but do not forget about it either. Dantonio is know for pulling some tricks in key moments, but even that might be considered a bit of a costly risk.

As for individual performances, Shilque Calhoun was credited for 2.5 sacks in the game.Cook went 11-of-22 for 105 yards. It was not a stellar performance from the Spartans’ quarterback, but there is no real reason for concern in East Lansing. that is because the starting offensive line was split between teams. Put them all together and Cook should be in good shape in the fall. Cook’s backup, Damion Terry, did not play in the spring game as he recovers from injury.

Michigan State’s crowd of 48,000 was locked in as the fifth best this spring around the Big Ten. Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan all finished ahead of the Spartans, but Dantonio should feel good about the crowd that turned out. In Madison, Wisconsin, the crowd was considerably smaller, but there is a lot to do in Madison. Michigan State’s attendance (combined with the totals from Wisconsin and Iowa on Saturday) pushed the total spring attendance around the Big Ten to 410,943, giving the Big Ten the largest combined spring attendance in 2015.

Rimington Trophy finalists include Marcus Mariota’s center

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Oregon center Hroniss Grasu is among the six centers named as a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation’s top center in college football. Grasu, who snaps the football to the likely Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, is the lone finalists now preparing for the College Football Playoff, with Oregon prepping for Florida State in the Rose Bowl, but each finalist will be playing in a bowl game this season.

Joining Grasu on the list of finalists for the Rimington Trophy are Michigan State’s Jack Allen, Georgia’s David Andrews, Auburn’s Reese Dismukes, Kansas State’s B.J. Finley and Boston College’s Andy Gallik. Every player up for the award, besides Michigan State’s Allen, is a senior. Allen is a junior.

The winner of this year’s Rimington Trophy will be announced Thursday night before the Home Depot College Football awards Show in Orlando. The winner is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams, which eliminates the need for a voting panel for the award, which is somewhat unique. The three All-America teams used to determine the award winner are compiled by the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America.

Last year’s Rimington Trophy was awarded to Bryan Stork of Florida State. Whichever player wins this year’s award will be doing so for the first time in his program’s history. The Rimington Trophy was first awarded in 2000.

Michigan State gets All-Big Ten center back for Wolverines

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Michigan State’s offensive line is about to get stronger this week as the Spartans prepare for Michigan. Jack Allen, an All-Big Ten player, will be back in the middle of the offensive line this weekend.

Allen was injured two weeks ago in a victory against Purdue. Allen is believed to have injured his ankle, which caused him to miss last week’s game against Indiana. Head coach Mark Dantonio rarely sheds any light on injuries, so the exact details of Allen’s injury are unconfirmed. As reported by MLive.com, Allen appeared to have his left ankle stepped on by Michigan State running back Nick Hill during a running play. The injury occurred in the fourth quarter and he did not return.

Connor Kruse filled in for Allen in the middle of the offensive line last week against the Hoosiers. This week Kruse will remain on the offensive line’s starting unit, but he will slide to right guard. This season the defending Big Ten champion Spartans rank fourth in the Big Ten in rushing offense with an average of 261.43 yards per game on the ground. The Michigan State offensive line has allowed just four sacks this season, tied for best in the Big Ten with Wisconsin.

Michigan State hosts Michigan on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. eastern.