Dec 16, 2014 12:08 PM
Playoff participants stack AP All-America team
The Associated Press
The College Football Playoff participants are well represented on The Associated Press All-America team.
Florida State leads the way with three first-team All-Americans: tight end Nick O'Leary, guard Tre' Jackson and kicker Roberto Aguayo, who is an All-American for the second straight season.
Oregon and Alabama each have two, including a couple of Heisman Trophy finalists.
Heisman winner Marcus Mariota is the first Ducks quarterback to be an All-American. He is joined by Ducks cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
The second-seeded Ducks will play third-seeded Florida State on Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl.
Crimson Tide receiver Amari Cooper, third in the Heisman voting, made the first team along with his teammate, safety Landon Collins. The top-ranked Tide will face fourth-seeded Ohio State and All-America defensive end Joey Bosa on New Year's Day in the Sugar Bowl.
Florida State also had the most players on the three All-America teams with six. Receiver Rashad Greene and safety Jalen Ramsey made the second team and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman was a third-team selection.
Here are some things to know about the 89th AP All-America team.
Washington's Shaq Thompson played offense and defense this season and excelled both ways, making him the perfect guy to be the first-team all-purpose player.
Thompson scored six touchdowns, three by fumble return, two rushing and one by interception return. He has 456 yards rushing and is averaging 7.5 per carry. He also has 71 tackles, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.
The Huskies joined Florida State as the only teams with three players on the first team. Washington also was represented by defensive tackle Danny Shelton and linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha, who leads the nation in sacks with 18.
Aguayo is the first kicker to be a two-time All-American since Ohio State's Mike Nugent, though Nugent did not make the first team in consecutive seasons like the Seminoles' star.
Nugent was a first-team selection in 2002 and again in 2004.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF ALL-AMERICAN
A couple of traditional basketball powers were represented on the All-America team for the first time in a while.
Duke guard Laken Tomlinson became the first Blue Devils player selected AP All-American since receiver Clarkston Hines made the first team in 1989.
Indiana running back Tevin Coleman is the first Hoosiers player to be an All-American since running back Vaughn Dunbar was a first-teamer in 1991.
The Pac-12 led the way with seven players on the first team, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with six.
The Southeastern Conference and Big Ten each had four players chosen to the first team. The Big 12 had three. The lone player from outside the Big Five conferences to make the first team was Colorado State receiver Rashard Higgins.
Alabama guard Arie Kouandjio was a second-team selection. His brother Cyrus, who played tackle at Alabama and is now in the NFL, was an All-American last season.
The only freshmen to make any of the three teams were Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, a redshirt freshman, and Oklahoma running Samaje Perine, who both made the third team.
This is the third straight year Ekpre-Olomu has received All-America honors. He made the third team as a sophomore and a junior before moving to the first team this season.
UAB, which shuttered its football program after it finished the season, has a representative on the All-America teams. Receiver J.J. Nelson was selected to the third team as an all-purpose player. Nelson is 10th in the nation in all-purpose yards and leads the country in kickoff return average at 38.3 yards, with four touchdowns.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP