Dec. 2, 2004
Florida State senior offensive tackle Alex Barron headlines the 2004 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team announced today by the American Football Coaches Association.
The AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of players from NCAA Division I-A institutions.
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all four of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best the coaches themselves.
The heart of an unbeaten Auburn team that will play for the Southeastern Conference championship this weekend, Carnell Williams, anchors the backfield on this year’s AFCA All-America Team. Joining Williams in the backfield are freshman rushing sensation Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma and quarterback Matt Leinart of USC.
Williams has rushed for 1,004 yards and 11 touchdowns in leading Auburn to an 11-0 record and a No. 3 national ranking. Peterson burst onto the college football scene in 2004 with a 1,671 yard, 12 touchdown rookie season.
Quarterbacking this year’s AFCA All-America Team is USC’s Leinart. The junior signal-caller is on the verge of leading the Trojans to an unbeaten regular season, a berth in the FedEx Orange Bowl and a shot at the national championship.
Michigan’s Braylon Edwards, Oklahoma’s Mark Clayton and Virginia’s Heath Miller make up this year’s All-America receiving corps.
Edwards set Michigan school records with 87 receptions and 1,221 receiving yards this season. Clayton caught 54 passes for 749 yards during the Sooners’ unbeaten run through the Big 12. Miller was the dominant tight end in college football in 2004, catching 36 passes for 475 yards and five touchdowns.
The offensive line features Oklahoma’s Jammal Brown, Virginia’s Elton Brown, Tennessee’s Michael Munoz, Florida State’s Alex Barron and LSU’s Ben Wilkerson.
Oklahoma’s Brown is one of three returning All-Americans on this year’s AFCA team. He helped clear the way for a Sooner offense that averaged 213.2 yards per game on the ground this season. Virginia’s Brown is part of a Cavalier front five that leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in fewest sacks allowed. Munoz captains a Volunteer offensive line that is one of the best in the SEC. Barron allowed only one sack in 11 games this season. Wilkerson centered an LSU offensive line that helped the Tigers average 400 yards in total offense this season.
Texas’ Derrick Johnson headlines the linebacker corps for this year’s AFCA All-America Team. He is joined by fellow Butkus Award finalist Matt Grootegoed of USC and Kevin Burnett of Tennessee.
Johnson leads Texas in tackles with 94 and has forced eight fumbles this season. He spearheads a defense that has held opponents to 16.2 points and 105.8 rushing yards per game. Grootegoed leads the Trojans in tackles for a loss and interceptions this year, his first at weakside linebacker after three years on the strongside. Burnett had 101 tackles for the Volunteers in 2004.
The defensive line features David Pollock of Georgia, Erasmus James of Wisconsin, Marcus Spears of LSU and Mathias Kiwanuka of Boston College.
Pollack is making his second appearance on the AFCA All-America Team this year. The senior defensive end posted 48 tackles, including 14.5 for a loss and 9.5 sacks for the Bulldogs. James was the heart of a Badger defense that surrendered just 14.6 points per game this season. Spears led the Tigers in tackles for loss and sacks and was third in pass break-ups from his defensive line spot. Kiwanuka posted double-digit numbers in both tackles for a loss and sacks for the Eagles in 2004.
The defensive backs named to this year’s AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team are Antrel Rolle of Miami (Fla.), Marlin Jackson of Michigan, Corey Webster of LSU and Thomas Davis of Georgia.
Rolle has 61 tackles, nine pass break-ups and eight tackles for a loss this season. Jackson is Michigan’s active leader in tackles. Webster had 31 tackles and eight pass break-ups as he earned AFCA All-America honors for the second time. Davis had 73 tackles for the Bulldogs this season and was the team’s No.1 tackler.
The specialists on this year’s AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team are punter Matt Payne of BYU, placekicker Mike Nugent of Ohio State and return specialist Reggie Bush of USC.
Payne averaged 45.2 yards per punt while also handling all the placekicking duties for the Cougars. Nugent, a Groza Award candidate, led the Buckeyes in scoring with 87 points as he converted 20 of 23 field goals and 27 of 27 PATs this year. Bush is one of the most dangerous return men in the country this year, ranking in the top 10 in both punt return and kickoff return average.