SB Nation’s 2017 All-America Team

Quarterbacks & Running Backs

Lamar Jackson was at least as good as ever, and plenty of other QBs stepped up throughout the year (if not the ones the NFL Draft folks were anticipating), but the year belonged to Baker Mayfield. He’s almost certain to break his own record for the most efficient passing season ever.

Saquon Barkley was your September Heisman winner and might end as the nation’s leader in jaw-dropping highlights, while Bryce Love just broke off 50-yard runs all year long under cover of #Pac12AfterDark.

Quarterback Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield
Set the FBS passer rating record in 2016 (196.3) and has topped it in 2017 (203.8).
qb Voting
1st Team: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
2nd Team: Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Hon. Mention: J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Hon. Mention: Jake Fromm, Georgia
Hon. Mention: Drew Lock, Missouri
Hon. Mention: Trace McSorley, Penn State
Hon. Mention: McKenzie Milton, UCF
Hon. Mention: Josh Rosen, UCLA
Hon. Mention: Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Hon. Mention: Khalil Tate, Arizona
Running Back Stanford
Bryce Love
Has 126 more rushing yards than any other Power 5 player.
Running Back Penn State
Saquon Barkley
No. 1 in all-purpose yardage against winning teams (1,373).
rb Voting
1st Team: Bryce Love, Stanford
1st Team: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
2nd Team: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
2nd Team: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Hon. Mention: Josh Adams, Notre Dame
Hon. Mention: Nick Chubb, Georgia
Hon. Mention: Royce Freeman, Oregon
Hon. Mention: Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
Hon. Mention: Ronald Jones II, USC
Hon. Mention: David Montgomery, Iowa State
Hon. Mention: Devin Singletary, FAU

Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

The No. 1 choices at WR and TE were really easy this time around, and they happened to put up 230 yards against each other in a 114-point Bedlam shootout. After that: lots of good players to choose from!

Wide Receiver Oklahoma State
James Washington
The nation's leader in receiving yards, total (1,423) and per game (119).
Wide Receiver Syracuse
Steve Ishmael
No. 2 in receptions (105), with 16 more than the next Power 5 receiver.
wr Voting
1st Team: James Washington, Oklahoma State
1st Team: Steve Ishmael, Syracuse
2nd Team: A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
2nd Team: David Sills, West Virginia
Hon. Mention: Deontay Burnett Jr., USC
Hon. Mention: Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
Hon. Mention: Michael Gallup, Colorado State
Hon. Mention: Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
Hon. Mention: Allen Lazard, Iowa State
Hon. Mention: Anthony Miller, Memphis
Hon. Mention: Calvin Ridley , Alabama
Hon. Mention: Courtland Sutton, SMU
Tight End Oklahoma
Mark Andrews
Baker Mayfield's favorite target and by far the nation's leader in total receiving yardage by a TE (906).
te Voting
1st Team: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
2nd Team: Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Hon. Mention: Adam Breneman, UMass
Hon. Mention: Noah Fant, Iowa
Hon. Mention: Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
Hon. Mention: Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

Offensive Line

The whole left side of Notre Dame’s offensive line is as good as it gets, while Orlando Brown might be the best lineman in the country. Honorable mention Brian O’Neill happens to be the reigning Piesman Trophy winner. For the second year in a row, a Buckeye is our starting center (Pat Elflein), boosted in part by Ohio State fans dominating the ballot we opened to the general public.

Offensive Tackle Oklahoma
Orlando Brown
Protected the country's best QB and helped lead the nation's best offense.
Offensive Tackle Notre Dame
Mike McGlinchey
Led a line that helped produce the country's No. 3 rushing offense by yards per carry (6.4).
ot Voting
1st Team: Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
1st Team: Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
2nd Team: Mitch Hyatt, Clemson
2nd Team: Jonah Williams, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
Hon. Mention: David Edwards, Wisconsin
Hon. Mention: Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
Hon. Mention: Cole Madison, Washington State
Hon. Mention: Chukwuma Okafor, Western Michigan
Hon. Mention: Brian O'Niell, Pitt
Hon. Mention: Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
Hon. Mention: Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Offensive Guard Auburn
Braden Smith
Paved the way for Auburn's 5-yard rushing average in SEC play.
Offensive Guard Notre Dame
Quenton Nelson
Bulldozed interior linemen while co-All-American left tackle Mike McGlinchey handled the outside.
og Voting
1st Team: Braden Smith, Auburn
1st Team: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
2nd Team: Cody O'Connell, Washington State
2nd Team: Michael Jordan, Ohio State
Hon. Mention: Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin
Hon. Mention: David Bright, Stanford
Hon. Mention: Lester Cotton, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Tyrone Crowder, Clemson
Hon. Mention: Will Hernandez, UTEP
Center Ohio State
Billy Price
Anchored a line that produced the country's No. 1 Rushing Success Rate (54.7 percent).
c Voting
1st Team: Billy Price, Ohio State
2nd Team: Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Hon. Mention: Brian Allen, Michigan State
Hon. Mention: Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Will Clapp, LSU
Hon. Mention: Lamont Gaillard, Georgia
Hon. Mention: Erick Wren, Oklahoma

Defensive Line

Fun fact: NC State’s Bradley Chubb got more No. 1 votes than anybody else on here, besides Baker Mayfield. Ed Oliver is one of only two repeat First-Team All-Americans this year, and he’ll be favored to make it three in a row in his extremely likely final year. And if you want to know why Clemson’s still so good: its entire starting defensive line is represented here.

Defensive End NC State
Bradley Chubb
Second among Power 5 players in sacks (10) and second nationally (first in the P5) in tackles for loss (25).
Defensive End Ohio State
Nick Bosa
Had 7 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, both leading figures on the country's No. 11 defense by S&P+.
de Voting
1st Team: Bradley Chubb, NC State
1st Team: Nick Bosa, Ohio State
2nd Team: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
2nd Team: Jeff Holland, Auburn
Hon. Mention: Mat Boesen, TCU
Hon. Mention: Sutton Smith, NIU
Hon. Mention: Austin Bryant, Clemson
Hon. Mention: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Hon. Mention: Da'Shawn Hand, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
Hon. Mention: Harold Landry, Boston College
Hon. Mention: Justin Lawler, SMU
Hon. Mention: Harrison Phillips, Stanford
Hon. Mention: Curtis Weaver, Boise State
Hon. Mention: Anthony Wimbush, Ball State
Defensive Tackle Washington State
Hercules Mata'afa
IS NAMED HERCULES. Also, led the Pac-12 in tackles for loss (21.5) by five.
Defensive Tackle Houston
Ed Oliver
Had 14.5 tackles for loss despite facing virtually endless double-teams.
dt Voting
1st Team: Hercules Mata'afa, Washington State
1st Team: Ed Oliver, Houston
2nd Team: Maurice Hurst, Michigan
2nd Team: Vita Vea, Washington
Hon. Mention: Raaekwon Davis, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Poona Ford, Texas
Hon. Mention: Rashan Gary, Michigan
Hon. Mention: Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State
Hon. Mention: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
Hon. Mention: RJ McIntosh, Miami
Hon. Mention: Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
Hon. Mention: Da'Ron Payne, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Trenton Thompson, Georgia
Hon. Mention: Christian Wilkins, Clemson


Roquan Smith is one of two or three players with a claim to be the country’s best defender, but don’t overlook two of his fellow UGA LBs joining him on here. This is the heart of a Playoff defense.

Linebacker Georgia
Roquan Smith
Leader of the country's No. 3 scoring defense, with 92.5 tackles. Next most on his team is 51.5.
Linebacker Iowa
Josey Jewell
The Big Ten's top tackler and the leader of a sneaky top-20 Iowa defense, plus two picks.
Linebacker Wisconsin
T.J. Edwards
In addition to run-stopping, he's also second among all LBs in INTs, with four.
lb Voting
1st Team: Roquan Smith, Georgia
1st Team: Josey Jewell, Iowa
1st Team: T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin
2nd Team: Devin White, LSU
2nd Team: Micah Kiser, Virginia
2nd Team: Tremaine Edmunds, Virgina Tech
Hon. Mention: Davin Bellamy, Georgia
Hon. Mention: Devin Bush, Michigan
Hon. Mention: Jason Cabinda, Penn State
Hon. Mention: Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
Hon. Mention: Dorian O'Daniel, Clemson
Hon. Mention: Joe Dineen, Kansas
Hon. Mention: Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Shaquem Griffin, UCF
Hon. Mention: Malik Jefferson, Texas
Hon. Mention: Joel Lanning, Iowa State
Hon. Mention: Uchenna Nwosu, USC
Hon. Mention: Tegray Scales, Indiana
Hon. Mention: Cameron Smith Jr., USC

Defensive Backs

Minkah Fitzpatrick (our other repeat First-Teamer) and Josh Jackson towered above all DBs in total votes, for good reason. This was a really deep year for elite safeties (though plenty of these players move all over throughout the secondary), while cornerback was more wide-open.

Corner Back Iowa
Josh Jackson
Just one example: in the Wisconsin game, he scored all his team's points and outgained his offense, via INT returns.
Corner Back Ohio State
Denzel Ward
The best player in an Ohio State secondary that stayed in the top 20 in pass defense despite losing three of the top 24 picks in the NFL draft.
cb Voting
1st Team: Josh Jackson, Iowa
1st Team: Denzel Ward, Ohio State
2nd Team: Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
2nd Team: Donte Jackson, LSU
Hon. Mention: Carlton Davis, Auburn
Hon. Mention: Duke Dawson, Florida
Hon. Mention: Julian Love, Notre Dame
Hon. Mention: Quenton Meeks, Stanford
Hon. Mention: Nick Nelson, Wisconsin
Hon. Mention: Perry Nickerson, Tulane
Hon. Mention: Ranthony Texada, TCU
Hon. Mention: Darious Williams, UAB
Hon. Mention: Greedy Williams, LSU
Safety Alabama
Minkah Fitzpatrick
The best player on what might still be the best defense in America, with 52 tackles from the secondary.
Safety Virginia
Quin Blanding
The country's leader in tackles by a DB (121), plus four interceptions.
s Voting
1st Team: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
1st Team: Quin Blanding, Virginia
2nd Team: Derwin James, Florida State
2nd Team: DeShon Elliott, Texas
Hon. Mention: Marcus Allen, Penn State
Hon. Mention: Kamari Cotton-Moya, Iowa State
Hon. Mention: Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Jaquan Johnson, Miami
Hon. Mention: Justin Reid, Stanford
Hon. Mention: Armani Watts, Texas A&M
Hon. Mention: Kyzir White, West Virginia


Dante Pettis, the new all-time record-holder with nine career punt return TDs, was probably the most obvious choice on the entire team. Punter, however, was one of the closest races, with a couple honorable mentions who would’ve made perfectly worthy winners.

Kicker Utah
Matt Gay
The national leader in made field goals (27), with the best percentage (87.1) of anyone who tried 22 or more.
k Voting
1st Team: Matt Gay, Utah
2nd Team: Eddy Pineiro, Florida
Hon. Mention: Daniel Carlson, Auburn
Hon. Mention: Domink Eberle, Utah State
Punter Texas
Michael Dickson
The national leader in average punt yardage (48.4) across 73 kicks (13th-most).
p Voting
1st Team: Michael Dickson, Texas
2nd Team: Johnny Townsend, Florida
Hon. Mention: Drue Chrisman, Ohio State
Hon. Mention: Trevor Daniel, Tennessee
Hon. Mention: JK Scott, Alabama
Hon. Mention: Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
Returner Washington
Dante Pettis
The national leader in total punt return yardage (428), average (20.4) and TDs (4), while nobody else scored more than twice.
ret Voting
1st Team: Dante Pettis, Washington
2nd Team: Tony Pollard, Memphis
Hon. Mention: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Hon. Mention: KaVontae Turpin, TCU

Individual Awards

Coach of the Year
Scott Frost

Frost completed a two-year turnaround that brought the Knights from 0-12 to 12-0 and the AAC title. He did that while lifting their offense from 126th the year before his arrival to No. 1 this year, at 49.4 points. He's leaving to take the job at his alma mater, Nebraska, after a job well done. Your Coach of the Year runner-up: UAB's Bill Clark, who stuck around during his program's termination and now has a chance at a 9-4 season.

Offensive Coordinator of the Year
Penn State
Joe Moorhead

Moorhead overhauled Penn State's offense over two years and got the Nittany Lions to No. 7 in scoring this year, at 41.6 points per game. He earned a reputation for adapting his scheme to his players, which should serve him well in his new job as Mississippi State's head coach.

Defensive Coordinator of the Year
Brent Venables

The architect of the country's No. 2 scoring D, at 12.8 points per game. Clemson gave up 18 per game during 2016's national title season, then lost four of its top eight tacklers and got miles better in 2017 anyway. That's a credit to Venables, as well as Clemson somehow always having a young and talented roster.

Game of the Year
The War on I-4

UCF beat archrival USF, 49-42, to win the AAC East en route to an unbeaten season. The game had five lead changes and three touchdowns in the final three minutes, and the teams combined for 1,186 yards of offense on 84 plays each. UCF went ahead for good on a 95-yard Mike Hughes kickoff return with 1:28 to play. The Knights would then beat Memphis in a double-OT shootout to win the conference, albeit without RIVALRY BRAGGIN' RIGHTS at stake.

Play of the Year
The 87-yard fumble

Louisiana Tech had a second-and-goal from Mississippi State's 6. Then Tech botched a snap, and neither team cleanly picked up the ball. After 87 yards of chasing, Tech faced a 3rd-and-freaking 93. The best part about this play: there were three top-10 games on at the same time, and fans across the country stopped watching all of them just to marvel at this beauty.

GIF of the Year
Tennessee trash can

From start to finish, this is Tennessee's 2017 (including most of its coaching search) summed up to perfection.


Designer Tyson Whiting
Developer Graham MacAree
Voters We opened one ballot to our readers. Also voting: Jeremy Attaway, Dawg Sports; Stephen Baker, And The Valley Shook; Zach Berry, Red Cup Rebellion; Stephen Braun, Off Tackle Empire; John Cassillo, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician; Bud Elliott,; Erik Evans, Roll 'Bama Roll; Austin Gallagher, One Foot Down; Billy Gomila, And The Valley Shook; Richard Johnson,; Thomas Kendziora, Testudo Times; Jason Kirk,; Alex Kirshner,; Chris Landon, UW Dawg Pound; Zach Mason, Viva The Matadors; Morgan Moriarty,; Steven Muma, Backing The Pack; Christopher Novak, Team Speed Kills; Jamie Plunkett, Frogs O' War; Tim Riordan, UB Bull Run; Drew Roberts, One Bronco Nation Under God; Ben Ross, Black Heart Gold Pants; Dan Rubenstein,; Mike Rutherford, Card Chronicle;Jack Shields, Crimson And Cream Machine; Clayton Sauertieg, Black Shoe Diaries; Jessica Smetana,; Cyrus Smith, Underdog Dynasty; Levi Stevenson, Wide Right & Natty Lite; Cam Underwood, State Of The U; Max Vrooman, UW Dawg Pound; Curt Weiler, Tomahawk Nation

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