Tebow, McFadden, Smith on AP All-America first team
NEW YORK -- When it comes to being an All-American, Darren McFadden doesn't have to settle for second.
AP All-American First TeamOFFENSE
QB: Tim Tebow, sophomore, 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Florida.
RB: Darren McFadden, junior, 6-2, 215, Arkansas; Kevin Smith, junior, 6-1, 211, Central Florida.
WR: Michael Crabtree, freshman, 6-3, 208, Texas Tech; Jordy Nelson, senior, 6-2, 213, Kansas State.
OT: Jake Long, senior, 6-7, 313, Michigan; Anthony Collins, junior, 6-5, 320, Kansas.
G: Duke Robinson, junior, 6-5, 330, Oklahoma; Martin O'Donnell, senior, 6-5, 305, Illinois.
C: Steve Justice, senior, 6-4, 284, Wake Forest.
TE: Martin Rucker, senior, 6-6, 255, Missouri.
All-purpose: Jeremy Maclin, freshman, 6-1, 185, Missouri.
K: Thomas Weber, freshman, 6-1, 202, Arizona State.
DE: Chris Long, senior, 6-4, 280, Virginia; George Selvie, sophomore, 6-4, 242, South Florida.
DT: Glenn Dorsey, senior, 6-2, 303, LSU; Sedrick Ellis, senior, 6-2, 305, Southern California.
LB: Dan Connor, senior, 6-3, 233, Penn State; James Laurinaitis, junior, 6-3, 240, Ohio State; Jordan Dizon, senior, 6-0, 220, Colorado.
CB: Aqib Talib, junior, 6-2, 195, Kansas; Antoine Cason, senior, 6-0, 185, Arizona.
S: Craig Steltz, senior, 6-2, 209, LSU; Jamie Silva, senior, 5-11, 210, Boston College.
P: Kevin Huber, junior, 6-1, 210, Cincinnati.
The Arkansas running back and two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up was one of four players voted to The Associated Press All-America team for the second consecutive season.
Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis were the other two-time first-team AP All-Americans on the team released Tuesday.
Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow joins McFadden in the backfield along with Central Florida's Kevin Smith, who leads the nation with 2,448 yards and 30 touchdowns. Smith is the first All-American from UCF, which began playing major college football in 1996.
McFadden set school records with 1,725 yards rushing and 2,172 all-purpose yards, breaking the marks he set last year. He scored 16 touchdowns and threw four TD passes, working as a quarterback out of Arkansas' shotgun Wild Hog formation.
The junior has said he'll decide whether to return to school for his senior season after the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1 against Daniel and Missouri, though he may have given a hint as to which was he was leaning after the Heisman ceremony when he said, "I think my quarterbacking days are about to come to a halt."
Kansas State receiver Jordy Nelson went from walk-on to All-American.
Nelson didn't get a scholarship after playing at Riley County High School, 20 miles from Kansas State's Manhattan campus. He redshirted in 2003 and was a defensive back in 2004, again not seeing any game time.
He moved to receiver in 2005 and started all 11 games, catching 45 passes for 669 yards. In 2006, he battled injuries and caught 39 passes for 547 yards.
This season, Nelson became a star. He ranked second in the country in both receptions (122) and receiving yards (1,606) behind fellow All-American Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech.
"I couldn't envision this going into my senior year," Nelson said. "Week after week the numbers kept coming. I have to give a lot of credit to the coaches.
"It surprises me what's happened," he said.
Crabtree set NCAA freshman records with 125 receptions for 1,861 yards and 21 touchdowns. Fellow redshirt freshmen Jeremy Maclin from Missouri (all-purpose player) and Arizona State kicker Thomas Weber also made the first team.
The last freshman to be an AP All-American was Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson in 2004.
Crabtree was also one of four players unanimously selected to the first team by a panel of 12 media members, along with McFadden, Dorsey and Southern California defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis.
Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman on Saturday night. He was the second-rated passer in the country, led the Gators in rushing and became the first major college player with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and at least 20 TD passes in the same season.
The last Florida quarterback to be an All-American was Rex Grossman in 2001.
Missouri's Martin Rucker, who led the nation's tight ends with 81 catches, gave the Tigers two All-Americans.
Long was joined on the offensive line by Kansas tackle Anthony Collins, guards Duke Robinson of Oklahoma and Martin O'Donnell of Illinois and Wake Forest center Steve Justice.
On the defensive line with Dorsey and Ellis were ends Chris Long from Virginia and George Selvie of South Florida.
Penn State's Dan Connor, Colorado's Jordan Dizon -- who led the nation in solo tackles with 107 -- and Laurinaitis were the linebackers. They were also the three finalists for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker. Laurinaitis won the award.
In the secondary, the cornerbacks were Aqib Talib from Kansas and Antoine Cason from Arizona. The safeties were Jamie Silva from Boston College and Craig Steltz from LSU, each with six interceptions.
Cincinnati's Kevin Huber was the punter. He led the nation with a 46.9-yard average.
The Big 12 had eight players selected to the first team, leading all conferences. The Big Ten and Southeastern Conference were second with four All-Americans each.
The AP All-America voting panel is: Alex Abrams, The Morning New of Northwest Arkansas; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Mike Dearmond, The Kansas City Star; Doug Doughty, The Roanoke Times; Eric Hansen, The South Bend Tribune; Kirk Herbstreit, WBNA-AM/ESPN; John Heuser, The Ann Arbor News; Aditi Kinkhabwala, The Bergen (N.J.) Record; Neal McCready, Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register; Dave Morrison, Beckley Register-Herald; Kevin Pearson, The Press-Enterprise; Mike Prater, Idaho Statesman.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Lunt: Gundy lifted restrictions, but too late
- Ex-PSU players support Paternos' lawsuit
- Navy to charge football players in rape case
- Sources: Southern Miss won't renew AD's pact