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December 10, 2008

Rivals.com 2008 All-America Teams

The weekly shootouts in the Big 12 emerged as the major storyline in college football, so it should come as no surprise that offensive playmakers from that conference dominate the Rivals.com All-America team.

Big 12 players make up half the first-team offense and nearly half of the second-team offense. The Big 12 ended up with 13 All-Americans on offense, three on defense and two on special teams to tie the SEC with 18 overall selections on our three-deep squad.

Iowa running back Shonn Greene is the only first-team skill-position player on offense who doesn't play for a Big 12 school. The Big 12 produced one first-team running back (Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter), the first- and second-team quarterbacks (Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Texas' Colt McCoy), the first- and second-team tight ends (Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham and Missouri's Chase Coffman), both first-team receivers (Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree and Missouri's Jeremy Maclin) and one second-team receiver (Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant).

Alabama boasted the most overall All-America selections with six. The Crimson Tide contingent included three first-teamers: offensive tackle Andre Smith, defensive tackle Terrence Cody and free safety Rashad Johnson.

The Tide was closely followed by the two representatives in the BCS Championship Game.

Florida had five overall selections, including three first-teamers: all-purpose player Percy Harvin, linebacker Brandon Spikes and punt returner Brandon James. Oklahoma had four All-Americans, and they all made the first team: Bradford, Gresham, guard Duke Robinson and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

Oklahoma State, Penn State and USC also had four All-America selections each. Cincinnati, Iowa, Missouri, Ole Miss and Texas produced three apiece. Boston College, BYU, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rice, Texas Tech, Utah and Wake Forest each had two.

QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-4/218, Soph.
High school: Oklahoma City Putnam City North
Key stats: Bradford went 302-of-432 passing for 4,464 yards with 48 touchdown passes and six interceptions while directing an offense that compiled 702 points and set an NCAA scoring record. He led the nation in passing efficiency.
RB Shonn Greene, Iowa
Particulars: 5-11/235, Jr.
High school: New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy
Key stats: The Big Ten's top rusher set a school single-season record with 1,729 yards rushing, and he was only Football Bowl Subdivision (i.e., Division I-A) running back to run for more than 100 yards in each game. The last Big Ten back to run for more than 100 yards in each league game was Curtis Enis in 1997.
RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
Particulars: 5-8/190, Soph.
High school: Tyler (Texas) John Tyler
Key stats: Hunter rushed for 1,518 yards and 14 touchdowns on 228 carries. He averaged 6.7 yards per rush and ranked sixth in the nation with 126.5 yards per game. He had nine 100-yard games this season.
WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
Particulars: 6-3/214, Soph.
High school: Dallas Carter
Key stats: Crabtree caught 93 passes for 1,135 yards and 18 touchdowns. He tied for second in the nation in touchdown catches. Crabtree had a pair of three-touchdown games and reeled off four consecutive two-touchdown games midway through the season.
WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
Particulars: 6-1/200, Soph.
High school: Kirkwood (Mo.) High
Key stats: Maclin caught 95 passes for 1,221 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also ran for 250 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries, and he returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Maclin led the nation with 203.5 all-purpose yards per game.
TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-6/261, Jr.
High school: Ardmore (Okla.) High
Key stats: Gresham caught 58 passes for 888 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had four two-touchdown games and tied for the NCAA lead for touchdown catches by a tight end.
T Michael Oher, Ole Miss
Particulars: 6-5/318, Sr.
High school: Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian
Key stats: This four-year starter and likely first-round pick is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which goes each year to the nation's top interior lineman. Oher helped Ole Miss rank third in the SEC in rushing while allowing the fourth-fewest sacks in the league.
T Andre Smith, Alabama
Particulars: 6-4/330, Jr.
High school: Birmingham (Ala.) Huffman
Key stats: This likely first-round pick helped Alabama rank second in the SEC and 23rd in the nation with 196.5 rushing yards per game. Smith is a finalist for the Lombardi Award given to the nation's top lineman or linebacker and the Outland Trophy that goes to the nation's best interior lineman.
G Seth Olsen, Iowa
Particulars: 6-5/305, Sr.
High school: Omaha (Neb.) Millard North
Key stats: This two-year starter's blocking helped make Shonn Greene a first-team All-American. The Hawkeyes averaged 189.3 yards per game rushing, thanks in part to the efforts of Olsen.
G Duke Robinson, Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-5/335, Sr.
High school: Atlanta Washington
Key stats: Robinson helped lead an exceptional line that allowed Oklahoma to set an NCAA scoring record. The Sooners allowed the fourth-fewest sacks in the nation and averaged 4.8 yards per carry.
Particulars: 6-4/316, Sr.
High school: Santa Barbara (Calif.) San Marcos
Key stats: The Lombardi Award semifinalist and Rimington Trophy finalist was the top lineman for an offense that averaged 33.3 points per game. His blocking helped California running back Jahvid Best average more than 8 yards per carry.
All-purpose Percy Harvin, Florida
Particulars: 5-11/195, Jr.
High school: Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown
Key stats: This do-everything player scored at least one touchdown in every game he played this season. Harvin scored 16 touchdowns on just 96 plays from scrimmage. He had 35 catches for 595 yards and seven touchdowns. Harvin also carried the ball 61 times for 543 yards and nine touchdowns.
Particulars: 6-2/248, Jr.
High school: Sugar Land (Texas) Stephen F. Austin
Key stats: Hughes led the nation with 14 sacks and shared the NCAA lead with six forced fumbles. He also compiled 30 solos, 18 assists, 18.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions. Hughes recorded four sacks in a 32-7 rout of previously unbeaten BYU.
E Brian Orakpo, Texas
Particulars: 6-4/260, Sr.
High school: Houston Lamar
Key stats: Orakpo collected 28 solos, eight assists, 15.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and four forced fumbles despite struggling with a knee injury late in the season that caused him to miss one game and most of another. He won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which goes to the nation's top defensive player.
T Terrence Cody, Alabama
Particulars: 6-5/365, Jr.
High school: Fort Myers (Fla.) Riverdale
Key stats: Cody recorded seven solo tackles, 16 assists, 4.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. Cody's physical presence made it impossible for Alabama opponents to run between the tackles and helped the Crimson Tide rank second in the nation in rushing defense.
T Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-4/295, Soph.
High school: Oklahoma City Southeast
Key stats: McCoy compiled 13 solos, 13 assists, 10 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and two pass breakups. He also helped Oklahoma rank 18th in the nation in run defense.
LB Mark Herzlich, Boston College
Particulars: 6-4/238, Jr.
High school: Berwyn (Pa.) Conestoga
Key stats: Herzlich had 79 solos, 26 assists, 10 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, six interceptions, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He scored on interception returns against Rhode Island and Wake Forest. Herzlich ranked second among all linebackers nationwide in interceptions and pass breakups.
LB Rey Maualuga, USC
Particulars: 6-2/260 Sr.
High school: Eureka (Calif.) High
Key stats: Maualuga posted a team-high 73 tackles and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He was a finalist for the Lombardi, Butkus, Bednarik and Nagurski awards.
LB Brandon Spikes, Florida
Particulars: 6-3/245, Jr.
High school: Shelby (N.C.) Crest
Key stats: Spikes recorded 48 solos, 39 assists, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and four interceptions. He led all SEC linebackers in interceptions and scored on interception returns against LSU and South Carolina.
CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
Particulars: 6-1/201, Sr.
High school: Piscataway (N.J.) High
Key stats: Jenkins had three picks and nine pass breakups. The three-year starter was the best player in a secondary that helped the Buckeyes finish 11th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Particulars: 5-10/182, Jr.
High school: Spartanburg (S.C.) Broome
Key stats: Moore had 28 solos, 26 assists, 4.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions and six pass breakups. He ranked fifth in the nation in interceptions. On offense, Moore caught two touchdown passes and ran for 73 yards on eight carries. He also ranked 14th in the nation in punt returns.
Particulars: 5-11/195, Soph.
High school: Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside
Key stats: Berry shared the NCAA lead with seven interceptions and also recorded 44 solos, 28 assists, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and six pass breakups. He scored on interception returns against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
FS Rashad Johnson, Alabama
Particulars: 6-0/186, Sr
High school: Sulligent (Ala.) High
Key stats: Johnson had 55 solos, 27 assists, five tackles for loss, one sack, five interceptions, 11 pass breakups, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He picked off three passes in an overtime victory over LSU. He scored on interception returns against LSU and Arkansas State.
K Graham Gano, Florida State
Particulars: 6-1/192, Sr.
High school: Gonzalez (Fla.) Tate
Key stats: Gano went 24-of-26 on field-goal attempts, including 5-for-7 from at least 50 yards. His only misses came from 50 and 52 yards. Gano, who made 18 consecutive field goals during one stretch, also punted for the Seminoles.
P Kevin Huber, Cincinnati
Particulars: 6-1/220
High school: Cincinnati McNicholas
Key stats: Huber was a big-time weapon for the Bearcats. He averaged 44.9 yards per punt and helped Cincinnati lead the nation in net punting. Only two of his 56 punts were touchbacks. He won the 2007 Ray Guy Award as the nation's best punter.
PR Brandon James, Florida
Particulars: 5-7/186, Jr.
High school: St. Augustine (Fla.) High
Key stats: James returned 36 punts for 509 yards (14.1 average) and two touchdowns. He scored on punt returns against Hawaii and Tennessee. He also returned 29 kickoffs for 687 yards (23.7 average).
KR Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati
Particulars: 6-1/190, Sr.
High school: Bunnell (Fla.) Flagler Palm Coast
Key stats: He was one of the nation's top-10 return men at 28 yards per return. He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, one against Oklahoma and one against West Virginia.
QB Colt McCoy, Texas, Jr.
RB Donald Brown, Connecticut, Jr.
RB LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh, Soph.
WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State, Soph.
WR Austin Collie, BYU, Jr.
TE Chase Coffman, Missouri, Sr.
T Eugene Monroe, Virginia, Sr.
T Russell Okung, Oklahoma State, Jr.
G Herman Johnson, LSU, Sr.
G Louis Vasquez, Texas Tech, Sr.
C Max Unger, Oregon, Sr.
All-purpose Derrick Williams, Penn State, Sr.
E Everette Brown, Florida State, Jr.
E Nick Reed, Oregon, Sr.
T Peria Jerry, Ole Miss, Sr.
T B.J. Raji, Boston College, Sr.
LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest, Sr.
LB James Laurinaitis, Ohio State, Sr.
LB Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh, Sr.
CB Victor Harris, Virginia Tech, Sr.
CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest, Sr.
SS Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech, Soph.
FS Taylor Mays, USC, Jr.
K Louie Sakoda, Utah, Sr.
P Justin Brantly, Texas A&M, Sr.
PR Javier Arenas, Alabama, Jr.
KR Joe Burnett, UCF, Sr.
QB Tim Tebow, Florida, Jr.
RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia, Soph.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, Fr.
WR Jarett Dillard, Rice, Sr.
WR Jordan Shipley, Texas, Sr.
TE Dennis Pitta, BYU, Jr.
T Jason Smith, Baylor, Sr.
T Phil Trautwein, Florida, Sr.
G Robert Conley, Utah, Sr.
G Mike Johnson, Alabama, Jr.
C A.Q. Shipley, Penn State, Sr.
All-purpose James Casey, Rice, Soph.
E Greg Hardy, Ole Miss, Jr.
E Aaron Maybin, Penn State, Jr.
T Mitch King, Iowa, Sr.
T Fili Moala, USC, Sr.
LB Brian Cushing, USC, Jr.
LB Rolando McClain, Alabama, Soph.
LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri, Jr.
CB Vontae Davis, Illinois, Jr.
CB Mike Mickens, Cincinnati, Sr.
SS Trimane Goddard, North Carolina, Sr.
FS Anthony Scirrotto, Penn State, Sr.
K Jose Martinez, UTEP, Sr.
P T.J. Conley, Idaho, Sr.
PR Kyle Wilson, Boise State, Jr.
KR Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State, Jr.

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