Colt McCoy, Texas–With so many great quarterbacks returning in 2009, this wasn’t an easy choice. But McCoy is coming off a record-setting season where he completed 77 percent of his passes and was just a last-second Texas Tech upset away from clinching the Heisman and a berth in the national title game. I think it’s time to give him his due.
Jahvid Best, California–Best is the closest anyone has come to being the next Reggie Bush. He rushed for 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns as a true sophomore and averaged an amazing 8.14 yards per carry. He’s a classic breakaway back with angle-crushing speed. If he can stay healthy, he’ll flirt with the 2,000-yard mark.
William Rose, Florida Atlantic–At HP, we recognize that there is still such a thing as a fullback in football and so therefore there must be an All-American at this spot. Rose, a senior, rushed for 307 yards and caught 23 passes for 168 yards in 2008.
Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma–The best college tight end since Kellen Winslow, Jr. He should’ve won the Mackey Award last season, when he caught 66 passes for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns. A superior talent.
Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State–The most dominating wide out in college football. He can take over a game. Also a brilliant return specialist. A dark horse Heisman candidate who caught 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns as a sophomore.
Arrelious Benn, Illinois–A long-time HP favorite (he was an HP preseason AA last year), he has the best combination of size, speed and strength of any receiver in college football. Should have huge year with continued improvement by his quarterback, Juice Williams.
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 almost solely based 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 USC, which returns five starters plus two part-time starters–including three seniors–from a group that went 12-1 and paved the way to 195 rushing yards per game while allowing only 18 sacks. Congrats Trojans.
We’ll have our preseason HP All-American defensive team tomorrow…