Nate Phillips

Jameis Winston headlines 2013 FWAA Freshman All-American team, Gus Malzahn also honored

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Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is celebrating his birthday as a Freshman All-American, although this comes as far from a shock as possibly considering the season he has had for the Seminoles. This season’s Heisman Trophy winner was named to the Freshman All-American team by the Football Writers Association of America.

Florida State also had defensive back Jalen Ramsey named to the Freshman All-American team. Florida State’s BCS Championship Game opponent, Auburn, is also represented with offensive lineman Alex Kozan being named to the team as well. In addition, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was named to the freshman team as the nation’s top first-year head coach at Auburn, although this is actually Malzahn’s second year as a head coach.

Here is the 2013 FWAA Freshman All-American team

OFFENSE (12)

Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown

QB Jameis Winston, Florida State 6-4 228 Bessemer, Ala.

RB • Alex Collins, Arkansas 5-11 206 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

RB • Elijah McGuire, Louisiana 5-11 185 Houma, La.

WR • Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh 6-2 185 Clairton, Pa.

WR • Corey Davis, Western Michigan 6-2 205 Wheaton, Ill.

WR • Nate Phillips, Arizona 5-7 177 Chandler, Ariz.

TE • Hunter Henry, Arkansas 6-6 250 Little Rock, Ark.

OL Jack Conklin, Michigan State 6-6 236 Plainwell, Mich.

OL Andrew Jelks, Vanderbilt 6-6 290 Paris, Tenn.

OL Alex Kozan, Auburn 6-4 297 Castle Rock, Colo.

OL Ben Lauer, Minnesota 6-6 302 Plymouth, Minn,

OL • Alex Redmond, UCLA 6-5 305 Cerritos, Calif.

DEFENSE (12)

DL • Tarell Basham, Ohio 6-4 250 Rocky Mount, Va.

DL • Joey Bosa, Ohio State 6-6 275 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

DL • Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA 6-4 305 Auburn, Calif,

LB • Dominque Alexander, Oklahoma 6-2 216 Tulsa, Okla.

LB • Dakota Cox, New Mexico 6-0 235 Draper, Utah

LB • Addison Gillam, Colorado 6-3 225 Palo Cedro, Calif.

LB • Myles Jack, UCLA 6-1 225 Bellevue, Wash.

DB • Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech 5-11 193 Baltimore, Md.

DB Jacoby Glenn, UCF 6-0 176 Prichard, Ala.

DB • Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida 5-11 192 Tampa, Fla.

DB • Jalen Ramsey, Florida State 6-1 195 Smyrna, Tenn.

DB Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma 5-11 176 Keller, Texas

SPECIALISTS (4)

P • Austin Rehkow, Idaho 6-3 202 Veradale, Wash.

K • Michael Geiger, Michigan State 5-8 186 Toledo, Ohio

PR • Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 5-10 175 Charleston, W. Va.

KR • Stacey Coley, Miami 6-1 180 Pompano Beach, Fla.

HEAD COACH

Gus Malzahn, Auburn

• Denotes true freshman

USC looks like a new team in first half of post-Kiffin era

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It took one quarter for USC’s offense to show some spars they had been lacking this season under former head coach Lane Kiffin. Cody Kessler completed two different touchdown passes of at least 60 yards, one to Nelson Agholor and another to Tre Madden, to get the Trojans off on a fast start against Arizona Thursday night.

With Ed Orgeron coaching his first game for the Trojans under the interim tag, filling in for the fired Kiffin, it has quickly become apparent there is still life within the USC program. Social networking conversations suggested Orgeron was giving everyone a breath of fresh air, from players to fans. So far, it may have made a difference. For one half, at least.

Kessler is already well on his way to a new career high for passing yards in a game, with 218 yards at the half to go with two touchdowns. He set a career high in USC’s loss two weeks ago to Arizona State with 295 passing yards. The USC running game may not have big numbers, but the power running game seems to have found a groove late in the half. USC has also done a very good job shutting down Arizona’s running offense, holding Ka’Deem Carey to 50 yards on 11 rushing attempts.

Arizona did manage to score one touchdown, with a 57-yard lob and run from B.J. Denker to Nate Phillips in the final minute of the half. Will that turn things around, or will USC continue to perform the way they have so far?

The Trojans even have a blocked punt to get the special teams involved.

USC is without some players, including receiver Marqise Lee, but does welcome back running back Silas Redd to the offense.

Is this what USC will look like in the second half of the season? If so, could Orgeron actually coach himself in to a position as a favorite to retain the duties of head coach beyond this season?