In all 4 Tigers named to the prestigious team
A day after the Associated Press ranked Clemson No. 2 in its preseason poll, the media association’s panel of writers and broadcasters voted defensive end Clelin Ferrell, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and left offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt to their preseason All-America Team on Monday.
Clemson and Wisconsin led the way with three First-Team All-Americans.
Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was named to the second team, giving the Tigers four players on the prestigious team.
Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love of Stanford, along with Ferrell, Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Edwards and Utah kicker Matt Gay, were the only players who made First-Team All-American in 2017 and were first-team selections on the preseason team this year.
So the hype train continues for Clemson’s defensive front, considered one of the best the college game has ever seen assembled by some in the media. The unit, which also consist of defensive end Austin Bryant, who was a Third-Team AP All-America at the end of the 2017 season, tallied 25 of the Tigers’ NCAA leading 46 sacks in 2017.
Earlier this month, the entire defensive line graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual college football preview magazine.
While Ferrell is thankful for all the attention he and the rest of the D-Lin has received this off-season he is ready to play football and prove his team’s worth on the field rather than boasting about it on paper.
“It brings a lot of hype and attention, it isn’t like I didn’t expect it so I can’t be annoyed by that, but I take it with a grain of salt,” he said. “I’m blessed that we have had success in past years and that people think highly of us. None of that matters on game day, we just want to go focus on ourselves.”
Last year, Ferrell was a First-Team All-American selection by the AP voters after he tallied 63 tackles, including 18 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He also led the Tigers with 9.5 sacks and added 12 quarterback pressures.
Wilkins was a Second-Team All-American by the AP in 2017. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive tackle is one of the most versatile players in college football. On the defensive line, he is one of the hardest guys to stop, even when being doubled team.
Last year, Wilkins tallied totaled 53 tackles and had 8.5 tackles for loss. He also recorded 4.5 sacks, had 11 quarterback pressures and tipped four passes.
Hyatt is one of the best offensive tackles in college football. He returned to Clemson for his senior year because he felt like he had more to learn and accomplish in his college career.
He was a Second-Team All-American selection in 2017 by the AP voters. He led Clemson with 30 knockdown blocks last year in 13 games. He is heading into his fourth year as a starter for the Tigers.
Lawrence is back for his junior year season after suffering from injuries all of last season. The Second-Team All-American by Rivals in 2017, said recently he spent most of last year about 50-percent healthy.
2018 AP Preseason All-America Team
First Team Offense
Quarterback — Will Grier, senior, West Virginia.
Running backs — Bryce Love, senior, Stanford; Jonathan Taylor, sophomore, Wisconsin.
Tackles — Jonah Williams, junior, Alabama; Mitch Hyatt, senior, Clemson.
Guards — Beau Benzschawel, senior, Wisconsin; Nate Herbig, junior, Stanford.
Center — Ross Pierschbacher, senior, Alabama.
Tight end — Noah Fant, junior, Iowa.
Receivers — A.J. Brown, junior, Mississippi; David Sills V, senior, West Virginia.
All-purpose player — Myles Gaskin, senior, Washington.
Kicker — Matt Gay, senior, Utah.
Ends — Nick Bosa, junior, Ohio State; Clelin Ferrell, junior, Clemson.
Tackles — Ed Oliver, junior, Houston; Christian Wilkins, Senior, Clemson.
Linebackers — Devin White, junior, LSU; Devin Bush, junior, Michigan; T.J. Edwards, senior, Wisconsin.
Cornerbacks — Greedy Williams, sophomore, LSU; Deandre Baker, senior, Georgia.
Safeties — Jaquan Johnson, senior, Miami; Taylor Rapp, junior, Washington.
Punter — Mitch Wishnowsky, senior, Utah.
Quarterback — Trace McSorley, senior, Penn State.
Running backs — A.J. Dillon, sophomore, Boston College; Damien Harris, junior, Alabama.
Tackles — David Edwards, junior, Wisconsin; Greg Little, junior, Mississippi.
Guards — Alex Bars, senior, Notre Dame; Michael Dieter, senior, Wisconsin.
Center — Sam Mustipher, senior, Notre Dame.
Tight end — Kaden Smith, junior, Stanford.
Receivers — K’Neal Harry, junior, Arizona State; Anthony Johnson, senior, Buffalo.
All-purpose player — Deebo Samuel. senior, South Carolina.
Kicker — Rodrigo Blankenship, junior, Georgia.
Ends — Rashan Gary, junior, Michigan; Raekwon Davis, junior, Alabama.
Tackles — Dexter Lawrence, junior, Clemson; Jeffrey Simmons, junior, Mississippi State.
Linebackers — Cameron Smith, senior, Southern California; Troy Dye, junior, Oregon; Mack Wilson, sophomore, Alabama.
Cornerbacks — Byron Murphy, sophomore, Washington; Julian Love, junior, Notre Dame.
Safeties — Lukas Dennis, senior, Boston College; Andrew Wingard, senior, Wyoming.
Punter — Jake Bailey, senior, Stanford.