AP Photo/Tony Avelar

Sporting News All-American Team headlined by Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey

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Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and runner-up Christan McCaffrey were named First Team All-Americans by Sporting News on Tuesday. The Crimson Tide and Cardinal running backs nudged out Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and LSU’s Leonard Fournette for the first-team honors, while both Cook and Fournette filled the running back slots on the second team. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, landed on the second team from Sporting News, with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield winning first team honors.

The full Sporting News All-American teams are listed below. The Sporting News All-American team is the fourth All-American team to be revealed that is used to make up the NCAA’s consensus All-American team. The previous three are the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Associated Press and the Football Writers Association of America. Tomorrow, the American Football Coaches Association will release the fifth and final All-American list recognized by the NCAA for its consensus list.

FIRST TEAM

Offense

QB – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
RB – Derrick Henry, Alabama; Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
WR – Corey Coleman, Baylor; Josh Doctson, TCU
TE – Hunter Henry, Arkansas
OL – Joshua Garnett, Stanford; Spencer Drango Baylor; Ryan Kelly, Alabama; Jack Conklin, Michigan State; Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
K – Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
KR – Evan Berry, Tennessee

Defense

DE – Carl Nassib, Penn State; Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
DT – A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama; Adolphus Washington, Ohio State
LB – Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame; Reggie Ragland, Alabama; Eric Striker, Oklahoma
CB – Desmond King, Iowa; Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
S – Jeremy Cash, Duke; Vonn Bell, Ohio State
P – Tom Hackett, Utah
PR – Cam Sutton, Tennessee

SECOND TEAM

Offense

QB – Deshaun Watson, Clemson
RB – Dalvin Cook, Florida State; Leonard Fournette, LSU
WR – Will Fuller, Notre Dame; JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC
TE – Jake Butt, Michigan
OL – Vadal Alexander, LSU; Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas; Taylor Decker, Ohio State; Jason Spriggs, Indiana; Roderick Johnson, Florida State
K – Ka’lmi Fairbairn, UCLA
KR – Morgan Burns, Kansas State

Defense

DE – Joey Bosa, Ohio State; Shaq Lawson, Clemson
DT- Jonathan Bullard, Florida; Andrew Billings, Baylor
LB – Kentrell Brothers, Missouri;Tyler Matakevich, Temple; Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
CB – Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma; Jalen Tabor, Florida
S – Jabrill Peppers, Michigan; Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
P – Drew Kasar, Texas A&M
PR – Dante Pettis, Washington

Surprise! Mountain West leads all conferences on Jim Thorpe Award watch list

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Today may be the beginning of college football’s media day season, but it also marks the continuation of watch list season. Today’s watch list reveal came from the Jim Thorpe Award, which named 42 of college football’s top defensive backs. In what may be considered a bit of a surprise as far as watch lists go, the Mountain West Conference landed the most players on the watch list for the award. Take that power conferences!

Six players from the MWC appear on the watch list, including a pair of players from Boise State (Donte Deayon, Darian Thompson). The ACC and Pac-12 each had five players on the watch list, including 2014 semifinalists Jeremy Cash (Duke) and Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech). The Big 12, Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt Conference each have four players on the watch list, and the Big Ten, SEC and American Athletic Conference each have three.

2015 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

Ishmael Adams, UCLA
Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
Tony Annese, Central Michigan
Budda Baker, Washington
Adairius Barnes, Louisiana Tech
Dante Barnett, Kansas State
Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee
Michael Caputo, Wisconsin
Jeremy Cash, Duke
Tony Conner, Ole Miss
Donte Deayon, Boise State
Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Nate Holley, Kent State
Adoreé Jackson, USC
William Jackson, Houston
Randall Jette, Massachusetts
Jonathan Jones, Auburn
Karl Joseph, West Virginia
Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Montres Kitchens, Troy
Mitch Lane, ULM
Richard Leonard, FIU
William Likely, Maryland
Paris Logan, Northern Illinois
Trent Matthews, Colorado State
Adrian McDonald, Houston
Doug Middleton, Appalachian State
David Mims II, Texas State
Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Parry Nickerson, Tulane
Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State
Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
Max Redfield, Notre Dame
Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma
Jordan Simone, Arizona State
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force
Darian Thompson, Boise State
JJ Whittaker, San Diego State
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech

ACC and SEC load up on Jim Thorpe Award semifinalists

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The Butkus Award semifinalists were announced Monday morning, and so too were the semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award. The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced the 15 names on the semifinalist list for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the top defensive back in college football.

The ACC and SEC each have four players appearing on the semifinalist list. The Big 12 and Pac-12 each have two players listed and the ACC, Big Ten and Conference USA each have one player. Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard was named the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award, but an SEC player had won the award the previous four seasons.

Of the players listed as a semifinalist, Louisville’s Gerod Holliman and Senquez Golson of Ole Miss are tied for the nation’s lead in interceptions. Each player has eight picks this season and each has returned one of those turnovers for a touchdown. None of the players with two pick-sixes this season is a semifinalist for the award.

THORPE AWARD SEMIFINALISTS
Sam Carter, TCU, Sr.
Jeremy Cash, Duke, Jr.
Landon Collins, Alabama, Jr.
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon, Sr.
Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech, So.
Senquez Golson, Ole Miss, Sr.
Josh Hawkins, East Carolina, Jr.
Gerod Holliman, Louisville, Jr.
Ronald Martin, LSU, Sr.
Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss, Sr.
Jordan Richards, Stanford, Sr.
Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma, So.
Triston Wade, UTSA, Sr.
Trae Waynes, Michigan State, Jr.
PJ Williams, Florida State, Jr.

Texas playing tough, but Oklahoma making the big plays

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If there is one thing Texas head coach Charlie Strong wants Texas to be, it is tough. That has been the case in the first half of this afternoon’s game with Oklahoma, but the Sooners have come up with the big plays to take a 17-13 lead into halftime.

Texas has held Oklahoma to just 29 yards of offense, but the Sooners have capitalized on a 91-yard kickoff return by Alex Ross for one touchdown and a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown by Zack Sanchez. The offense has struggled to get anything going against the Longhorns defense, going without a third-down conversion and just eight rushing yards as a team.

Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes has played well, completing 14 of 21 attempts for 172 yards and a touchdown. His big mistake came on the interception that was returned for a score, but Texas seems to have something working on offense. Jaxon Shipley leads all players at the half with seven catches for 84 yards.

Texas has been killing itself with penalties too. Entering the day averaging just over six penalties per game, the Longhorns have already been flagged for eight penalties in this one. That is not something Strong will take lightly. Oklahoma has been called for just one penalty.

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