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The 2010 HP All-American Team: Offense

It’s time for the seventh annual edition of the very prestigious HP All-American team.  First, the offense:

Quarterback

1st team: Cameron Newton, Auburn

2nd team: Andrew Luck, Stanford

3rd team: Denard Robinson, Michigan

Honorable Mention:
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
Andy Dalton, TCU
Darron Thomas, Oregon
Tyrod Taylor, Va. Tech

Notes: Cam Newton is a no-brainer at the top spot.  I think Luck is a special talent who has to be recognized, while Robinson’s yardage was basically the same as Newton’s…he just had fewer touchdowns.

Running Back

1st team: LaMichael James, Oregon

2nd team: Daniel Thomas, Kansas State

3rd team: Mikel LeShoure, Illinois

Honorable Mention:
Jordan Todman, Connecticut
Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Knile Davis, Arkansas
Vai Taua, Nevada

Notes: James led the nation in rushing and when healthy is a really special player.  Thomas is the nation’s premier power back, while LeShoure might be the rising star of the bunch.

Fullback

1st team: Charles Clay, Tulsa

2nd team: Vince Murray, Navy

3rd team: Stanley Havili, USC

Honorable Mention
Owen Marecic, Stanford
Fred Munzenmaier, Georgia

Notes: Clay capped an outstanding career with another productive season.  Same goes with Murray and Havili.

Wide Receiver

1st team: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State; Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina

2nd team: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma; Greg Salas, Hawaii

3rd team: Juron Criner, Arizona; Kealoha Pilares, Hawaii

Honorable Mention:
Jordan White, Western Michigan
Aldrick Robinson, SMU
Leonard Hankerson, Miami
Torrey Smith, Maryland
Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

Notes: Some tough calls here, but with Blackmon being the no-brainer of the bunch, I had to go with Jeffery for the other spot.  I just see him as being more physically dominant than Broyles, who had an incredible year in his own right.  I’m not so sure that Pilares isn’t better than Salas, but I think they are both future NFL guys.  Criner was the clear standout receiver in the Pac-10.

Tight Ends

1st team: Michael Egnew, Missouri

2nd team: Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin

3rd team: Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette

Honorable Mention
D.J. Williams, Arkansas
Eric Lair, Minnesota
Ted Bolser, Indiana
Orson Charles, Georgia
Joe Halahuni, Oregon State

Notes: Seems like every year there is a Missouri or Wisconsin tight end on this list.  Both Egnew and Kendricks carried on the tradition quite well.  Green is often overlooked, but he had a great year.

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 purely off of hearsay, but wouldn’t that be dishonest? What’s more, there are 600 starting offensive linemen in Division One. It’s almost impossible to have seen enough of them to know who is really the best.  So, while other All-American teams choose linemen based almost solely on reputation, we will not.  Instead, we look at a combination of factors, including sacks allowed, rushing offense, tackles for loss allowed, etc., to come up with our All-American unit.

1st team: Oregon 

2nd team: Stanford

3rd team: Boise State

Honorable Mention:
Auburn
Michigan
Utah
TCU
Oklahoma State

Notes: Oregon’s offense was dominant for much of the year and that was due, in large part, to the ability of its offensive line to execute Chip Kelly’s spread to perfection.  Stanford’s line was able to both protect the quarterback and run the ball effectively as well as any other unit.  The same can be said for Boise State.

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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

Cornerbacks

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

Safeties

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:

Quarterback

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.

Continue Reading →

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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.

Cornerback

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:

Quarterback

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.

Tailback

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.

Fullback

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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