With the regular season winding down, it’s the right time to talk College Football All-American team lists and awards, before we get too entrenched in Thanksgiving tryptophan comas and College Football Playoff rankings.
As a long time member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), I am fortunate and honored to get to vote for a number of College Football awards. Included in that is the FWAA All-American team, which has been a staple dating back to 1944.
Here are my selections for the offensive skill positions and offensive line, with some honorable mentions peppered into the mix:
2016 College Football All-American Team: Offense
QB – Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
This may be the biggest no-brainer of the season, despite Louisville’s recent struggles and disappearance from the College Football Playoff picture. Despite all of that, Jackson’s numbers have been gaudy and video game-worthy for the entire season:
- Passing: 3,109 yards, 28 TD’s, 6 INT, 282.6 ypg
- Rushing: 1,367 yards (8th in the nation), 19 TD, 6.54 ypc
- Jake Browning (Washington) – 180.72 rating, 37 TD, 7 INT
- Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) – 71.4 %, 194.70 rating, 35 TD’s
- Deshaun Watson (Clemson) – 3,700+ total yards
- J.T. Barrett (Ohio State) – 24 passing TD, 4 INT, 2,900+ total yards
- Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) – 326.5 ypg, 25 TD, 4 INT
- Luke Falk (Washington State) – 71.4 %, 36 TD’s, 357.7 ypg
RB – Donnel Pumphrey (San Diego State)
Pumphrey is second in the nation in rushing (1,855 yards), averaging 168.64 yards per game. He has just two sub-100 rushing performances this season and four games of more than 200 yards on the ground. His fourteen rushing touchdowns are tied for 12th in the country.
RB – Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
The numbers (1,205 yards rushing, 316 yards receiving, 16 total TD) are not nearly as gaudy as some of the nation’s other top backs, but one must consider the impact that Barkley has had on this Penn State team. It’s Barkley’s impact, class and flash that have set him apart this season, and in one of the big surprises of the year, Penn State has an outside shot at the College Football Playoff.
- D’Onta Foreman (Texas) – Leads nation in rushing (1,863 yds), 15 TD’s
- Dalvin Cook (Florida State) – 1,467 rushing yards (6th), 17 TD’s
- Jeremy McNichols (Boise State) – 1st in rushing TD’s (22), 1,575 yards
WR – Corey Davis (Western Michigan)
One of the key stars on P.J. Fleck’s Broncos, Davis is not only seventh in receiving yards (1,202) and tied for first in receiving touchdowns (16), but he’s also closing in on the FBS receiving record.
WR – Dede Westbrook (Oklahoma)
The Sooners are making a late College Football Playoff surge, sparked by the play of Westbrook, who is second in the nation in receiving yards (1,354) and tied for second in receiving touchdowns (15).
- Zay Jones (East Carolina) – 151 receptions leads all receivers in the nation
- Trent Taylor (Louisiana Tech) 103 catches is second most in the country
- Mike Williams (Clemson) – 73 receptions, 1,014 yards, 7 TD
TE – Evan Engram (Ole Miss)
Like Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, Evan Engram is likely to get a lot of no-brainer votes amongst voters. Playing in the always competitive SEC conference, Engram leads all of the nation’s tight ends in receiving yards (926) and is second in receptions (65).
- Adam Breneman (UMass) – Leads all tight ends with 66 receptions
C – Pat Elflein, Ohio State – Anchoring one of the country’s most talented teams
OL1 – Dorian Johnson, Pittsburgh – Helping Pitt run to a seven-win season
OL2 – Cam Robinson, Alabama – The top-ranked Tide is 13th in rushing offense
OL3 – Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia – WVU’s run game cracks the Top 25
OL4 – Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin – The Badgers are always big in the trenches
*Stats pulled from cfbstats.com and updated as of November 23, 2016
Who else lands on KP’s College Football All-American team?
- College Football 2016 All-American Team: Defense
- College Football 2016 All-American Team: Specialists