Since the inception of this blog, doing the ETSF College Football Preseason All-Americans list has been a laborious chore that I've done singularly for four years now. By far, it's one of the most gratifying posts I can write, because it's the official introduction to the upcoming college football season for the crew. Plus, this list has the tendency to make you, the reader, happy or (usually) mad at me for the selections that I make. I can remember being fascinated by the preseason All-American lists as a rubbery-brained child, immediately scanning for players from Oklahoma, and being mad that they left my dudes off.
Remember though, this list is a lot like the preseason rankings that will come out in a few weeks....the only All-Americans and rankings that matter are the one at the end of the season. Just be sure to keep an eye on these for the time being.
QB - Andrew Luck, Stanford
What's funny is that I tried to talk myself into putting Shoelace Robinson here from Michigan for a good 16 minutes, but couldn't. Andrew Luck is officially in Matt Leinart/Sam Bradford territory. As a junior, the man could've left school and been a guaranteed number one pick in the upcoming draft. Instead, like his predecessors, the man decided to come back for a senior year and live that life. If Luck can be happy with whatever happens to him his senior year, then it's all the way worth it. Luck is so good that I am convinced that NFL teams will tank at the end of the season to ensure themselves the "top" spot in the Andrew Luck lottery.
Honorable Mentions: Kellen Moore, Boise State; Landry Jones, Oklahoma; Denard Robinson, Michigan; Robert Griffin, Baylor
RB - Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
RB - LaMichael James, Oregon
Marcus Lattimore was the easy pick. Strangely enough, LaMichael James was the one I struggled with. While I saw a freshman tailback in South Carolina weave his way through the treacherous trenches in SEC, my feelings towards James were that of uneasiness. Raise your hand if you knew that James, not Lattimore, finished number one in rushing yards last year? Yep, James. His place on this list is quite secure.
Honorable Mentions: Ed Wesley, TCU; Trent Richardson, Alabama; Knile Davis, Arkansas
WR - Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
WR - Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
The two best wide receivers are both from the state of Oklahoma...I thought about just writing that and leaving it alone. To be real, when I see Justin Blackmon, I see former OK State legend, Dez Bryant. When I see Ryan Broyles, I'm reminded of former Sooner legend, Mark Clayton. God bless the defensive backs in the Big 12, minus two.
Honorable Mentions: Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
TE - Michael Egnew, Missouri
OT - Jonathan Martin, Stanford
OG - Cordy Glenn, Georgia
C - Mike Brewster, Ohio State
OG - Barrett Jones, Alabama
OT - David Molk, Michigan
DE - Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
DE - Vinny Curry, Marshall
DT - Billy Winn, Boise State
DT - Jared Crick, Nebraska
Jared Crick might be the first two-time recipient of the preseason All-American selection, and I will continue to place Crick on this list until Ndamukong Suh comes out and says that Crick doesn't have the potential to be better than him. I believe in Suh, and I'll continue to believe Crick. Thank God Nebraska's in the Big Ten.
LB - Donta Hightower, Alabama
LB - Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
LB - Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
LB - Tank Carder, TCU
Kenny and I both share a similar sentiment in regards to the Non-BCS schools in that one day, a "Little sister of the poor" will win a National Championship. Well, those teams won't win anything unless you have the players. TCU's Tank Carder is without question one of the best linebackers in the country, and he's a leader of men to boot. Chalk him up for 100+ tackles and pushing his team to win 'em a Mountain West title.
DB - Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
DB - Cliff Harris, Oregon
There are some people (Ed) who believe that Oregon's rise as a national power (withstanding these recent allegations towards the program) is legitimate and that it's time to take them seriously. Others (Ken) feel like Oregon, at the end of the day, is still Oregon, and until they prove him wrong, he won't feel any different. The reason why folks like Ken feel that way is because of that voodoo magic offense and the lack of defense. If UO can keep Cliff "Not T.I.P." Harris out of trouble, and he can continue to lock down defenders then maybe he can change Ken's mind....who are we fooling? That ain't happening.
DB - Mark Barron, Alabama
DB - Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
From our generation, we can think back to some of the most dynamic defensive backs that lit the field on fire. Charles Woodson, Derick Strait, Sean Taylor, Eric Berry, etc. There's only one in this class that I believe fits the profile of being elite, and that's Stephen Gilmore. Gilmore now plays corner exclusively, but has played safety, will play linebacker, will return kicks/punts, will play wide receiver, and will even take snaps at QB. He could be an All-American at at least 3-4 positions, but he will be the best corner in 2011, guaranteed.
K - Will Snyderwine, Duke
P - Drew Butler, Georgia
PR - Coryell Judie - Sr., Texas A&M
KR - Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
Come on Ed, you picked a dude from Tulsa? You damn right I did. No one else would pick Damaris Johnson, and if I didn't, then I wouldn't be doing my job as a proud Oklahoman. In Tulsa's bowl game, Johnson broke the NCAA record for all-purpose yardage with 326, and he might make a run to surpass that number in 2011.
Selections by conference:
Big 12: 5
Big 10: 3
Mountain West: 2
LET THE DEBATE BEGIN! Who'd I leave off and overlook? Who's going to win the Heisman in 2011? Let us know!