All-awesome: FWAA names 75th anniversary All-America team

ByMark Schlabach ESPN logo
Friday, August 21, 2015

The Football Writers Association of America released its 75th Anniversary All-America Team on Thursday, and it includes college football's only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, the only two-time Outland Trophy winner and six Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The 75th Anniversary All-America Team includes 75 players (three teams of 25) from as far back as the 1940s. The FWAA was founded in 1941 and has picked an All-America team every season since 1944. To be considered for the 75th Anniversary All-America Team, a player had to previously be named an All-American.

The teams didn't include head coaches, but Alabama's Nick Saban probably approves of the selections. The teams have a distinct old-school flavor, with only two players who played in the 21st century -- Pittsburghreceiver Larry Fitzgerald and Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh -- making the first team.

Navyquarterback Roger Staubach, who won the 1963 Heisman Trophy, edged out Florida's Tim Tebow and Nebraska's Tommie Frazier for first-team honors.

"This was one of the most fun, yet most difficult exercises I've had in life -- next to parallel parking, that is," said Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls, chairman of the FWAA 75th All-America Committee. "Truly, it was an exciting -- if not impossible -- task to find the best 75 college football players ever. Please save your hate mail, but feel free to weigh in and tell us how we messed up."

The first-team running backs are Ohio State's Archie Griffin, who won back-to-back Heisman Trophies in 1974-75, and Georgia's Herschel Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner.

The second- and third-team running backs weren't bad, either. Pittsburgh's Tony Dorsett andOklahoma State's Barry Sanderswere named to the second team, andAuburn's Bo Jackson andSMU's Doak Walker are onthe third team.

Along with Fitzgerald, Mississippi Valley State's Jerry Rice was named a first-team receiver, and Oklahoma's Keith Jackson was named the first-team tight end.

The first-team offensive line included: Alabama's John Hannah, Ohio State's Orlando Pace, Nebraska's Will Shields, USC's Ron Yary and Nebraska's Dave Rimington. Penn center Chuck Bednarik -- a World War II aerial gunner and the original 60-Minute Man -- was voted to the second team.

The first-team secondary would make any quarterback sweat: USC's Ronnie Lott, Florida State's Deion Sanders, Ohio State's Jack Tatum and Michigan's Charles Woodson.

The linebackers were Texas' Tommy Nobis, Alabama's Derrick Thomas and Baylor's Mike Singletary. Oklahoma's Brian Bosworth, Illinois' Dick Butkus and Boston College's Luke Kuechly were the second-team linebackers. The first-team defensive line includes Suh, Oklahoma's Lee Roy Selmon, Miami Hurricanes' Ted Hendricks andNotre Dame's Leon Hart, a three-time FWAA All-American.

Southern Miss punter Ray Guy, Georgia kicker Kevin Butler and Nebraska kick returner Johnny Rodgers also were named to the first team.

Four of Nebraska's six selections were voted to the first team. Ohio State and Pittsburgh each had five players honored, and Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas had four. FSU, Georgia, Michigan and USC each had three players honored.

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