College football has a lot of All-America teams. A bunch of media organizations put out their own (SB Nation used to, but is doing something different this year), as do some organizations whose biggest functions are giving out awards and naming All-America teams every year. The result is a lot of different folks from a lot of organizations recognizing a lot of players as All-Americans.
The NCAA recognizes five: the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Walter Camp Football Foundation, American Football Coaches Association, and Sporting News.
In NCAA terminology, a “consensus All-American” is a first-teamer on at least three of those teams. A “unanimous All-American” is a first-teamer on all five. Below, you can see which players earned those designations.
Below is a composite 2018 team we built by pulling out the most common picks from each of those five. How many are included at each position depends on how often a real team actually uses multiple players at that position and, in some cases, how wide the selection gaps were.
- Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (three selections)
- Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (five selections)
- Darrell Henderson, Memphis (four selections)
- Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (four selections)
- Andy Isabella, UMass (three selections)
- Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State (one selection)
- Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M (four selections)
- Jonah Williams, Alabama (five selections)
- Garrett Bradbury, NC State (four selections)
- Ben Powers, Oklahoma (four selections)
- Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin (three selections)
- Mitch Hyatt, Clemson (three selections)
Pretty loaded offense, right? Having Jeudy and Isabella on opposite sides with Tagovailoa running the passing game sounds quite dangerous ... and also a lot like real-life Alabama. Wallace is the third receiver because nobody else got more than one nod, and he was the third Biletnikoff Award finalist alongside Jeudy and Isabella.
Some of these votes were probably cast before Championship Saturday, which might explain Tagovailoa being here over Kyler Murray. Heisman votes after those games swung toward Murray, who’d been a betting underdog to win the award before that weekend.
- Christian Wilkins, Clemson (five selections)
- Quinnen Williams, Alabama (five selections)
- Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (four selections)
- Ed Oliver, Houston (two selections)
- Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (two selections)
- Josh Allen, Kentucky (five selections)
- Devin Bush, Michigan (four selections)
- Devin White, LSU (four selections)
- Grant Delpit, LSU (five selections)
- Deionte Thompson, Alabama (three selections)
- Deandre Baker, Georgia (four selections)
- Greedy Williams, LSU (three selections)
- Julian Love, Notre Dame (four selections)
Alabama, Clemson, and LSU load up the defense. That defensive line is somehow even better than Clemson’s actual defensive line. The linebacking corps is hard-hitting and versatile. Can you imagine throwing against that secondary? No thank you.
- Andre Szymt, Syracuse (five selections)
- Braden Mann, Texas A&M (five selections)
- Savon Scarver, Utah State (two selections)
- Rondale Moore, Purdue (two selections)
This is as special a special teams unit you could ask for. Szymt, a former walk-on, won the Lou Groza Award, and Mann turned into one of the most dangerous weapons in college football and won the Ray Guy. Moore recently became the first freshman to win the Paul Hornung, which goes to the sport’s most versatile player. In the coming years, he could make this team as a receiver, too.