A record six Clemson football players have been named to various first, second or third-team All-America squads. The previous record for selections to All-America first, second or third teams was five set by Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team.
Deshaun Watson, Shaq Lawson, Jayron Kearse, Jordan Leggett, Mackensie Alexander and Greg Huegel all made at least one All-America team so far. Teams selected by Associated Press, Football Writers, Walter Camp Foundation, Si.com, CBS Sports, ESPN.com and USA Today have all been released. The American Football Coaches Association and the Sporting News will announce teams later this week.
Watson was named a first-team Associated Press All-American on Sunday night and added the Football Writers Association team, CBS Sports and ESPN.com to his resume on Monday. He had already been named the first-team quarterback by USA Today last week.
Watson is just the second Clemson quarterback to be selected a first-team All-American by any agency, the first to be chosen to the Associated Press team. Tajh Boyd was named first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association in 2012.
Watson finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy and was named the ACC Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Championship game. He won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback last Thursday at the ESPN Awards program in Atlanta. He has quarterbacked Clemson to a 13-0 record and No. 1 ranking in all three polls.
Lawson was also named first-team All-American by Associated Press on Sunday, then Football Writers, and ESPN.com on Monday. He was named to the first team by the Walter Camp Foundation and USA Today last week. Lawson leads the nation in tackles for loss with 22.5 and was a finalist for the Nagurski Award, Lombardi Award and Hendricks Award.
Jayron Kearse was a third Clemson player to be named to a first-team All-America squad on Monday. Kearse, who is a junior safety, was named first-team All-American by ESPN.com and was second team by CBS Sports, Si.com and the Associated Press.
Kearse had 74 tackles during the season, including 61 first hits. He added eight tackles for loss and eight passes broken up. His caused fumble in the final two minutes at the one-yard line in Clemson’s win over Notre Dame was one of the bigger plays of the season.
Jordan Leggett was named a second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation and an honorable mention selection by Si.com. The junior tight end was also a finalist for the Mackey Award. Leggett led Clemson in touchdown receptions this year with seven and he had 34 catches for 442 yards.
MacKensie Alexander was a third-team All-American by Associated Press and an honorable mention All-American by Si.com. The sophomore cornerback also made first-team All-ACC this past year when he helped the Tigers to a team completion percentage defense of .461, on pace to be the best by a FBS team since 2007. He has allowed just 11 pass completions and no touchdown passes in the man he has been assigned to this season.
Kicker Greg Huegel was named a second-team All-American by Si.com. The freshman from Columbia, S.C. made 22-25 field goals this year, including a perfect 17-17 against ACC foes this season. He had the top field goal percentage and most made against conference competition in the nation. Huegel was the top scorer on Clemson’s No. 1 ranked team with 115 points.
Linebacker Ben Boulware was named an honorable mention All-American by Si.com. Boulware was second on the Clemson team in tackles with 121 and had seven tackles for loss to go with a team best 20 quarterback pressures.
Clemson All-American Teams Summary
Deshaun Watson (QB)—1st team by Associated Press, Football Writers Association, CBS Sports, ESPN.com, USA Today. 2nd-team by Walter Camp Foundation, Si.com.
Shaq Lawson (DE)—1st team by Associated Press, Football Writers Association, Walter Camp Foundation, USA Today, ESPN.com. 2nd-team bySi.com, CBS Sports
Jayron Kearse (SS)—1st team by ESPN.com. 2nd team by Associated Press, Si.com, CBS Sports.
Jordan Leggett (TE)—2nd Team by Walter Camp Foundation. Honorable Mention by Si.com.
MacKensie Alexander (CB)—3rd team by Associated Press. Honorable Mention by Si.com.
Greg Huegel (PK)—2nd team All-American by Si.com.
Ben Boulware (LB)—Honorable mention by Si.com