Courtesy of the Football Writers Association of America
TAMPA – Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence headlines the 2016 Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team presented by Sound Mind Sound Body Camps. Lawrence played in Monday night’s College Football Playoff Championship Game helping to lead the Clemson Tigers to a 35-31 upset win over the Alabama Crimson Tide.
“Dexter is obviously very gifted from the standpoint of the physicality it takes to play inside,” said Clemson defensive line coach Dan Brooks, the AFCA’s assistant coach of the year.
“We opened the season at Auburn and threw him in the mix, and he had our first sack of the season. Dexter is a very coachable young man with a great attitude who is mature beyond his years.”
The 10 FBS conferences are each represented with at least one player on the team, and there are two players from schools with independent status.
The SEC and Big Ten each placed six players on the 34-member team, while the Pac-12 and ACC had five players from their respective conferences.
Other 2017 College Football Playoff participants on the Freshman All-American team are Taylor Rapp (safety, Washington), Mike Weber (tailback, Ohio State), Dre’Mont Jones (defensive lineman, Ohio State) and Michael Jordan (offensive lineman, Ohio State).
Helton, in his first full season as the Trojans’ head coach, led USC to nine consecutive victories to close the season, including a stirring 52-49 Rose Bowl victory over Penn State.
Fuente was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year, guiding the Hokies to the ACC Championship Game for the first time since 2011.
The 12-person panel of nationally-prominent writers represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team.
Both true freshmen (20 players) and redshirt freshmen (14 players) were considered for the team and are so noted on the list below.
While Clemson’s Lawrence was the only freshman All-American who played in this year’s championship game, there were six former selections on the rosters: Outland Trophy winner Cam Robinson (2014); All-SEC punter JK Scott (2014); Wide receiver Calvin Ridley (2015); and cornerback Marlon Humphrey (2015) were the four Crimson Tide players, while All-ACC offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt (2015) and defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (2015) represented Clemson.
2016 FWAA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA TEAM
QB, Sam Darnold, USC, 6-4, 225 (Capistrano Beach, Calif.)
RB • Justice Hill, Oklahoma State, 5-10, 171 (Tulsa, Okla.)
RB • Benny Snell, Kentucky, 5-11, 220 (Westerville, Ohio)
RB Mike Weber, Ohio State, 5-10, 212 (Detroit, Mich.)
WR • Ty Lee, Middle Tennessee, 5-9, 155 (Moultrie, Ga.)
WR • Ahmmon Richards, Miami (FL), 6-1, 192 (Wellington, Fla.)
WR • Demetris Robertson, California, 6-0, 175 (Savannah, Ga.)
TE • Isaac Nauta, Georgia, 6-4, 246 (Buford, Ga.)
OL Ryan Bates, Penn State, 6-4, 305 (Warrington, Pa.)
OL • Ben Bredeson, Michigan, 6-5, 310 (Hartland, Wis.)
OL • Michael Jordan, Ohio State, 6-7, 310 (Canton, Mich.)
OL • Zach Shackelford, Texas, 6-3, 290 (Belton, Texas)
OL Thomas Shoaf, BYU, 6-5, 280 (Columbus, Ind.)
OL • Jawaan Taylor, Florida, 6-5, 340 (Cocoa, Fla.)
AP Donnie Corley, Michigan State, 6-2, 186 (Detroit, Mich.)
DL • Brian Burns, Florida State, 6-5, 218 (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
DL Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State, 6-3, 280 (Cleveland, Ohio)
DL • Dexter Lawrence, Clemson, 6-5, 340 (Wake Forest, N.C.)
DL • Ed Oliver, Houston, 6-2, 290 (Houston, Texas)
DL Reggie Walker, Kansas State, 6-2, 239 (Ponchatoula, La.)
LB • Troy Dye, Oregon, 6-4, 225 (Norco, Calif.)
LB Leo Lewis, Mississippi State, 6-2, 240 (Brookhaven, Miss.)
LB • David Reese, Florida, 6-0, 244 (Farmington, Mich.)
LB Josiah Tauaefa, UTSA, 6-1, 230 (Corinth, Texas)
LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming, 6-2, 225 (Casper, Wyo.)
DB Jessie Bates, Wake Forest, 6-2, 200 (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
DB Xavier Crawford, Oregon State, 6-1, 182 (Pittsburg, Calif.)
DB • Clifton Duck, Appalachian State, 5-10, 175 (Matthews, N.C.)
DB Javon Hagan, Ohio, 6-0, 211 (Jacksonville, Fla.)
DB • Taylor Rapp, Washington, 6-0, 202 (Bellingham, Wash.)
K Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia, 6-1, 191 (Marietta, Ga.)
P • Tom Sheldon, North Carolina, 6-3, 200 (Echuca, Australia)
PR • Malik McGue, Army, 5-8, 174 (Johnson City, Tenn.)
KR Tony Pollard, Memphis, 5-11, 200 (Memphis, Tenn.)
Clay Helton, USC and Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech
• Denotes true freshman
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