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HP’s 2010 Mid-Season All-Americans

It’s been a great first half of the 2010 season.  Now for the All-Americans of the midway point:

QB–Denard Robinson, Michigan: The most impressive offensive player of the first half.  Second in rushing, 12th in passing efficiency.  Heisman front runner.

RB–LaMichael James, Oregon: The nation’s top running back.  First in rushing yardage per game.  Main weapon on nation’s top offense. 

FB–Owen Marecic, Stanford: Throwback fullback who can run, block and catch.  Also plays defense.

WR–Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State; Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina: Blackmon leads the nation in receiving yardage and scoring.  Jeffery has turned into a physically dominant wide out.

TE–Michael Egnew, Missouri: The latest in a recent line of stud Tiger tight ends.

OL Unit–Oregon: This fivesome has paced the Ducks to 317 rushing yards per game, while allowing just two sacks.

DE–Vinny Curry, Marshall; Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue: Curry leads the nation in sacks with 8, while Kerrigan already has 13 tackles for loss.

DT–Brandon Bair, Oregon; Drake Nevis, LSU: Bair leads the Pac-10 with 12.5 tackles for loss, while Nevis has 5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss.

LB–Lavonte David, Nebraska;  Akeem Ayers, UCLA; Greg Jones, Michigan State–These three backers are the heart and souls of their respective defenses.

CB–Patrick Peterson, LSU; Greg Reid, Florida State: Two lockdown corners who also serve as great return men.

S–Mark Barron, Alabama; Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma: Barron leads the Tide defense in tackles, while Jefferson might be the best freshman defender in the country.

P–Trevor Hankins, ASU–Leads the nation with an average of 48.5 yards per punt.

PK–Nate Whitaker, Stanford:  A perfect 11 for 11 on field goals (including a game winner), plus an impressive 15 touchbacks on kickoffs.

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The 2010 HP Preseason All-American Team — Defense

We did the offense yesterday, now for the defensive HP preseason All-Americans.  The season is nigh, so no commentary, just the list, fast and quick:

Defensive Tackle

First Team: Jared Crick, Nebraska; Jurrell Casey, USC

Second Team: Jurrelle Powe, Ole Miss; Stephen Paea, Oregon State

Third Team: Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson; Drake Nevis, LSU

Honorable Mention: Karl Klug, Ian Williams, Ollie Ogbu, Lawrence Guy, Anthony Gray

Defensive Ends

First Team: Sam Acho, Texas; Robert Quinn, North Carolina

Second Team: Adrian Clayborn, Iowa; Allen Bailey, Miami

Third Team: Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma; Von Miller, Texas A&M

Honorable Mention: Da’Quan Bowers, Cameron Heyward, Marcell Dareus, Kenny Rowe, Cameron Jordan

Outside Linebackers

First Team: Akeem Ayers, UCLA; Mark Herzlich, Boston College

Second Team: Bruce Carter, North Carolina; Travis Lewis, Oklahoma

Third Team: Ross Homan, Ohio State; Malcolm Smith, USC

Honorable Mention: Emmanuel Acho, Nigel Bradham, Lawrence Wilson, Craig Stevens, Sean Spence

Middle Linebackers

First Team: Greg Jones, Michigan State

Second Team: Tank Cardner, TCU

Third Team: Nate Irvin, NC State

Honorable Mention: Shane Skov, Quan Sturdivant, Martez Wilson, Brian Rolle, Dont’a Hightower


First Team: Patrick Peterson, LSU; Brandon Harris, Miami

Second Team: Prince Amukamara, Nebraska; Ras-I Dowling, Virginia

Third Team: Curtis Brown, Texas; Janoris Jenkins, Florida

Honorable Mention: Trevin Wade, Rashad Carmichael, Kendric Burney, Aaron Williams


First Team: Rahim Moore, UCLA; Tyler Sash, Iowa

Second Team: Deunta Williams, North Carolina; Mark Barron, Alabama

Third Team: Robert Sands, West Virginia; Ahmad Black, Florida

Honorable Mention: DeAndre McDaniel, Jermale Hines, Duke Ihenacho, Blake Gideon

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The 2010 HP Preseason All-American Team — Offense

With the season upon us, it’s time for me to reveal the the 2010 edition of the very prestigious HP All-American team.

First, the offense:


1st team: Ryan Mallett, Arkansas  

2nd team: Kellen Moore, Boise State 

3rd team: Case Keenum, Houston

Honorable Mention: Terrelle Pryor, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Jacory Harris, Andy Dalton, Jerrod Johnson, Andrew Luck

Comments: There are a ton of great candidates for this position, but I think Mallett is poised to have the best season of the bunch.  A 4,000-yard, 40 TD season is not out of the question given that he played so well last year and he is now in his third year in the system.  Moore is as savvy as they come and his numbers are incredible, while Keenum is simply the most productive quarterback in NCAA history.

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The 2009 HP All-American Team–Defense

We did the offense on Tuesday, now for the All-American defensive squad:

Defensive End

1st team–Jerry Hughes, TCU; Brandon Graham, Michigan

2nd team–O’Brien Schofield, Wisconsin; Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech

3rd team–Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma; Sergio Kindle, Texas

Notes: Hughes has been a terror off the edge for going on three years and he capped a fine career with an All-American season.  Graham was a one-man show for the Wolverines.

Defensive Tackle

1st team–Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska; Brian Price, UCLA

2nd team–Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma; LaMarr Houston, Texas

3rd team–Arthur Jones, Syracuse; Stephen Paea, Oregon State

Notes:  What more can be said about Suh, who finished fourth in the Heisman voting?  Price had an amazing 22.5 tackles for loss.

Outside Linebacker

1st team–Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri; Navarro Bowman, Penn State

2nd team–Rennie Curran, Georgia; Eric Norwood, South Carolina

3rd team–Akeem Ayers, UCLA; Mychal Sisson, Colorado State

Notes: Weatherspoon, the tackle machine, finishes his career with 399 tackles.  Bowman was a force for the Lions, notching 15.5 tackles for loss.

Inside Linebacker

1st team–Rolando McClain, Alabama

2nd team–Greg Jones, Michigan State

3rd team–Joe Pawelek, Baylor

Notes:  McClain, the Butkus winner, was the field general for the nation’s best defense.


1st team–Javier Arenas, Alabama; Joe Haden, Florida

2nd team–Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State; Brandon Harris, Miami

3rd team–Patrick Peterson, LSU; Trevin Wade, Arizona

Notes:  Arenas was all over the field for Alabama, with 12 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions and 5 sacks.   Joe Haden was a lockdown corner all year and will now go on to be a high NFL draft pick.

Free Safety

1st team–Rahim Moore, UCLA

2nd team–Deunta Williams, North Carolina

3rd team–Chad Jones, LSU

Notes: Moore was a playmaker extraordinaire for the Bruins, picking off nine passes in 12 games. 

Strong Safety

1st team–Earl Thomas, Texas

2nd team–Tyler Sash, Iowa

3rd team–Eric Berry, Tennessee

Notes: Thomas picked off eight passes and returned two for touchdowns.  He also had 5 tackles for loss and 10 pass deflections.

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The 2009 HP All-American Team–Offense

Now for the sixth edition of the very prestigious HP All-American squad.  First, the offense:


1st team–Case Keenum, Houston

2nd team–Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame

3rd team–Colt McCoy, Texas

Note: Obviously a very difficult decision on this one, but I think Keenum’s overall numbers–5,410 yards, 43 touchdowns, 9 picks, 71% completion percentage–are too amazing to ignore.  Clausen had a brilliant season, too, while McCoy overcame the pressure of the spotlight to lead Texas to the title game.


1st team–Toby Gerhart, Stanford

2nd team–Mark Ingram, Alabama

3rd team–Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State

Note: Gerhart was the most dominant and consistent tailback in the country, leading it in rushing yardage and touchdowns.  Ingram was at his best in big games, while Rodgers was the most versatile back in the country.


1st team–Vince Murray, Navy

2nd team–Owen Marecic, Stanford

3rd team–Stanley Havili, USC

Note: At HP, I always pick an All-American fullback as the position exists on most rosters and therefore should be recognized as such.  Murray had a huge year for Navy, rushing for 925 yards and six touchdowns.  Marecic is simply an amazing blocker and he ploughed the way for Gerhart most of the time.  Havili excelled as a pass catcher and runner but was slowed some by injuries.

Wide Receiver

1st team–Golden Tate, Notre Dame; Danario Alexander, Missouri

2nd team–Jordan Shipley, Texas; Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati

3rd team–James Cleveland, Houston; Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas

Note: Golden Tate was unstoppable all year, catching 93 passes for 1,496 yards and 15 touchdowns.  Alexander burst onto the scene with a monster season of 107 catches for 1,644 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Shipley had a great season and helped Texas get to the promised land, while Gilyard was a playmaker extraordinaire for Cincinnati.  Cleveland was Keenum’s main target while Briscoe was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal Jayhawk campaign.

Tight End

1st team–Dennis Pitta, BYU

2nd team–Aaron Hernandez, Florida

3rd team–Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame

Note:  Pitta was the best traditional tight end in the country, catching 56 balls for 766 yards and seven scores.  Hernandez constantly displayed his impressive physical gifts for the Gators while Rudolph physically dominated at times against opposing defenders.

Offensive Line Unit

Per HP tradition, we will not choose individual All-Americans on the offensive line.

We refuse to do so because, unlike other people who pick All-Americans, we admit that we have no idea who really are the best offensive linemen.

There are no individual stats to go by. Highlights rarely show what they do. We could go off of hearsay, but wouldn’t that be dishonest? What’s more, there are 585 starting offensive linemen in Division One. It’s almost impossible to have seen enough of them to know who is really the best.  Did anyone pick Baylor’s Jason Smith–the second pick in the draft–on their preseason team last year?  I don’t think so.  So, while other All-American teams choose linemen based almost solely on reputation, we will not.

However, we will choose the best line unit in the country, since this is a bit easier to quantify. That honor goes to Stanford, which led the nation in fewest tackles for losses allowed (39), was second in sacks allowed (7) and helped Cardinal backs go for 224 yards per game (11th nationally).  Second team honors went to Boise State, which averaged 194 yards on the ground while allowing a nation-leading five sacks all season.  Third team honors went to Nevada’s line, which helped the Wolfpack average 362 yards per game on the ground. 

1st team–Stanford

2nd team–Boise State

3rd team–Nevada

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HP’s Mid-Season All-Americans

Based on what I’ve seen so far…

QB–Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame

2nd team–Case Keenum, Houston

3rd team–Tony Pike, Cincinnati

RB–Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State

2nd team–Toby Gerhart, Stanford

3rd team–Noel Devine, West Virginia

FB–Vince Murray, Navy

2nd team–Owen Marecic, Stanford

3rd team–Stanley Havili, USC

TE–Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame

2nd team–Dennis Pitta, BYU

3rd team–Anthony McCoy, USC

WR–Jordan Shipley, Texas;  Eric Decker, Minnesota

2nd team–Golden Tate, Notre Dame; A.J. Green, Georgia

3rd team–Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas; Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati

Offensive Line Unit:  USC, Florida, Boise State

DE: Von Miller, Texas A&M

2nd team–O’Brien Schofield, Wisconsin

3rd team–Jerry Hughes, TCU

DT: Ndamkong Suh, Nebraska

2nd team–Brian Price, UCLA

3rd team–Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma

OLB–Eric Norwood, South Carolina

2nd team–Michael Morgan, USC

3rd team–Travis Lewis, Oklahoma

MLB–Rolando McClain, Alabama

2nd team–Brandon Spikes, Florida

3rd team–Mike Nixon, Arizona State

CB–Brandon Harris, Miami

2nd team–Javier Arenas, Alabama

3rd team–Donovan Warren, Michigan

SS–Tyler Sash, Iowa

2nd team–Eric Berry, Tennessee

3rd team–Ahmad Black, Florida

FS–Chad Jones, LSU

2nd team–Taylor Mays, USC

3rd team–Rahim Moore, UCLA

PR–C.J. Spiller, Clemson

2nd team–Jordan Shipley, Texas

3rd team–Jerrard Tarrant, Georgia Tech

KR–Chris Owusu, Stanford 

2nd team–D.J. Monroe, Texas

3rd team–C.J. Spiller, Clemson

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The 2009 HP Preseason All-American Defensive Team

We did the offense last week, now the defense:

*=returning HP All-American


Carlos Dunlap, Florida–A physical specimen with a pterodactyl-like wing span.  At 6-6, 290, he’s a prototype end with a great first-step.  Will be a top 10 pick in the NFL draft.

Sergio Kindle, Texas–Also could be rated at linebacker, but we put him here as he’ll be playing a bit of a hybrid position for the Longhorns this year.  Explosive off the edge and as disruptive a defensive player as you’ll find in college football.



Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma*–Potential first pick in the draft who was the best player on the field in the BCS title game last January.  Light on his feet, strong as an ox and great football instincts.  Should win the Outland.

Brian Price, UCLA–A scrappy, low-base, tough-to-block lineman who has toiled in relative obscurity for the Bruins.  Relentless competitor who almost single-handedly held the UCLA defense together last year.


Inside Linebacker

Brandon Spikes, Florida*–The field general of the Gator defense.  He is the Butkus favorite after collecting 93 tackles, 8 TFL and 4 interceptions last year.

Outside Linebackers

Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri*–You want production?  He’ll give you production.  He’s a tackle machine.  Had a staggering 155 tackles last year (which led the nation), including 18.5 for losses, 7 pass breakup and 3 interceptions.

Navarro Bowman, Penn State–All over the field for the Nittany Lions last year, collecting 106 tackles, along with 16.5 TFL and 5 pass break ups.  The latest addition to Linebacker U.

lions 5 1122 sds


Syd’Quan Thompson, California–Seems so long ago that he was getting burned by Robert Meachem in his first start.  Now, he’s a tough, lockdown corner.  Had 70 tackles, 14 pass breakups and 4 interceptions last year.  Also a very good punt returner.  2nd-team HP All-American in 2008

Trevard Lindley, Kentucky–Coming off an outstanding season in which he had 4 interceptions and 11 pass break ups.  Part of the reason the Wildcat defense has improved so much recently.  2nd-team HP All-American in 2008.



Eric Berry, Tennessee*–What more can be said about this guy?  He’s got the speed of an elite corner and is like a star running back with the ball in his hands.  The epitome of a playmaker, he led the nation in interceptions last year with seven.

Taylor Mays, USC*–One of the most physically impressive specimens in college football, but so far more of an enforcer than a playmaker.  Will be asked to do more this year and should improve upon his 53 tackles and 9 pass breakups last season.

California USC Football

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