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WACO, TEX. – Arkansas runningback Darren McFadden, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree and LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey headline the 2007 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team announced today by the American Football Coaches Association.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five 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 Offense
Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree is the first freshman since Herschel Walker to earn AFCA All-America honors in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Crabtree is currently the leading receiver in the FBS, averaging 155.1 yards per game with 21 touchdowns.

Crabtree is joined in the receiving corps by fellow Big 12 players Jordy Nelson of Kansas State and tight end Martin Rucker of Missouri.

Nelson is currently the nation’s second leading receiver, averaging 133.8 yards per game for the Wildcats. Rucker has been one of the primary offensive weapons for a Missouri team that is enjoying one of the most memorable years in Tiger football history in 2007. He caught 75 passes for 739 yards and eight touchdowns this year.

The most dynamic player in college football this season, Arkansas runningback Darren McFadden, is joined in the backfield by quarterback Matt Ryan of Boston College and runningback Jonathan Stewart of Oregon.

McFadden is averaging 143.7 yards per game on the ground and 181.0 all-purpose yards this season. He recently moved past Bo Jackson into the No. 3 spot on the SEC career rushing chart. Stewart has been a workhorse back for the Ducks, rushing for 1,306 yards this year and is averaging 185.1 in all-purpose yards.

Ryan’s emergence has played a big role in Boston College’s drive to the ACC Atlantic Division title this season. He already has eight 300-yard passing games to his credit in 2007.

The offensive line features Michigan’s Jake Long, Ohio State’s Kirk Barton, Wake Forest’s Steve Justice, Oklahoma’s Duke Robinson and Boise State’s Ryan Clady.

Long is one of four returnees on this year’s AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team. He anchored a Michigan offensive line that helped the Wolverines average 373.5 yards per game this season. Barton was the key blocker for a Buckeye offense that scored 32.0 points per game in 2007. Justice was the senior leader of a young Demon Deacon offensive front. Robinson is the key pass blocker for a Sooner offense that is averaging 457.6 yards per game. Clady’s veteran presence helped Boise State rush for 2,306 yards this season.

The Defense
LSU’s Glenn Dorsey headlines the defensive line for the second year in a row. He is joined by Virginia’s Chris Long, South Florida’s George Selvie and USC’s Sedrick Ellis.

Dorsey is the defensive leader for the Tigers. LSU is surrendering only 103.8 rushing yards per game. Long, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, posted 19 tackles for loss and 14 sacks this sesaon. Selvie has recorded an NCAA-leading 31.5 tackles for loss this season. Ellis has 12.5 tackles for loss for the Trojans.

The linebacking corps features James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, Xavier Adibi of Virginia Tech and J Leman of Illinois.

Laurinaitis posted 103 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and two interceptions for the Buckeyes as Adibi is also on pace to surpass the century mark in tckles for the Hokies. Leman was the heart and soul of an Illini defense this year as he led the Illini with 124 total tackles.

The defensive backs named to this year’s AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team are Dwight Lowery of San Jose State, Aqib Talib of Kansas, Brandon Flowers of Virginia Tech and Mike Jenkins of South Florida.

Lowery is another returnee from the 2006 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team and the first two-time AFCA All-America selection in San Jose State football history. Talib was a two-way threat for the Jayhawks this season, recording four interceptions and 61 tackles on defense while catching eight passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver. Flowers anchored a Virginia Tech secondary that limited opponents to 199.2 yards passing this season. Jenkins posted 12 pass break-ups and three interceptions for the Bulls.

The Specialists
The specialists on this year’s AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team are all-purpose player DeSean Jackson of California, punter Chris Miller of Ball State and placekicker Taylor Mehlhaff of Wisconsin.

The versatile Jackson is averaging 85.6 all-purpose yards per game for the Golden Bears and has scored seven touchdowns in 2007. Miller averaged 45.8 yards per punt on 56 attempts for the Cardinals and dropped 22 punts inside the 20. Mehlhaff converted on 40 of 41 PATs and 20 of 24 field goal attempts for the Badgers to lead the team in scoring with 100 points.

Team Background
The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945.

The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams, University Division and College Division, were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams Division I-A and Division I-AA. In 1996 the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III respectively. The AFCA has selected an NAIA All-America Team since 2006.

From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997 a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team.

The return specialist position has been replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006.

Selection Process
The AFCA’s Football Bowl Subdivisin All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA’s nine I-A districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee.

The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts, that information, along with ballots submitted by FBS head coaches, are used to select the AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-America Team.

2007 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team

Offense

Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
WR Michael Crabtree 6-3 208 Fr. Texas Tech Mike Leach Dallas, Texas (Carter)
WR Jordy Nelson 6-3 217 Sr. Kansas St. Ron Prince Riley, Kan. (Riley County)
TE Martin Rucker 6-6 255 Sr. Missouri Gary Pinkel St. Joseph, Mo. (Benton)
OL Jake Long* 6-7 315 Sr. Michigan Lloyd Carr Lapeer, Mich. (East)
OL Kirk Barton 6-6 300 Sr. Ohio St. Jim Tressel Massillon, Ohio (Massillon Perry)
C Steve Justice 6-4 284 Sr. Wake Forest Jim Grobe Port Orange, Fla. (New Smyrna Beach)
OL Duke Robinson 6-5 352 Jr. Oklahoma Bob Stoops Atlanta, Ga. (Washington)
OL Ryan Clady 6-6 317 Jr. Boise St. Chris Petersen Rialto, Calif. (Eisenhower)
QB Matt Ryan 6-5 220 Sr. Boston College Jeff Jagodzinski Exton, Pa. (William Penn Charter)
RB Darren McFadden* 6-2 212 Jr. Arkansas Houston Nutt Little Rock, Ark. (Pulaski Oak Grove)
RB Jonathan Stewart 5-11 230 Jr. Oregon Mike Bellotti Lacey, Wash. (Timberline)

Defense

Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL Glenn Dorsey* 6-2 299 Sr. LSU Les Miles Gonzales, La. (East Ascension)
DL Chris Long 6-4 280 Sr. Virginia Al Groh Ivy, Va. (St. Anne’s-Bellfield)
DL George Selvie 6-4 242 So. South Florida Jim Leavitt Pensacola, Fla. (Pine Forest)
DL Sedrick Ellis 6-2 305 Sr. USC Pete Carroll Chino, Calif. (Chino)
LB James Laurinaitis 6-3 240 Jr. Ohio St. Jim Tressel Hamel, Minn. (Wayzata)
LB Xavier Adibi 6-2 236 Sr. Virginia Tech Frank Beamer Hampton, Va. (Phoebus)
LB J Lemen 6-3 243 Sr. Illinois Ron Zook Champaign, Ill. (Central)
DB Dwight Lowery* 6-1 185 Sr. San Jose St. Dick Tomey Santa Cruz, Calif. (Soquel)
DB Aqib Talib 6-0 205 Jr. Kansas Mark Mangino Richardson, Texas (Berkner)
DB Brandon Flowers 5-10 200 Sr. Virginia Tech Frank Beamer Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)
DB Mike Jenkins 6-0 197 Sr. South Florida Jim Leavitt Bradenton, Fla. (Southeast)

Specialists

Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P Chris Miller 6-2 205 Jr. Ball St. Brady Hoke Libertyville, Ill. (Carmel)
PK Taylor Mehlhaff 5-11 184 Sr. Wisconsin Brett Bielema Aberdeen, S.D. (Central)
AP DeSean Jackson 6-0 172 Jr. California Jeff Tedford Long Beach, Calif. (Poly)

*-2006 All-American

Top Team: Oklahoma has had the most players named to the AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team. The Sooners have been represented 59 times by 51 players on the AFCA team. They are followed by Notre Dame (55/48); Michigan (54/48); Ohio State (54/41); Southern California (53/46); Nebraska (48/43) and Texas (41/35).

Top Conference: The Big 12 boasts the most AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team representatives among current conference members with 238, just ahead of the Big Ten at 236 representatives. Following those two are the Southeastern Conference (215), the Pac-10 (166), Atlantic Coast (157), Big East (63), Western Athletic (60), Conference USA (50), Mountain West (49), Sun Belt (40) and Mid-American (29) (Totals include school All-America selections in all divisions).

The 2007 conference-by-conference breakdown: Big Ten: 5; Pac-10: 3; SEC: 2; ACC: 5; Big 12: 5; Big East: 2; MAC: 1; Western Athletic: 2.

Class Distinction: The 2007 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of 15 seniors, eight juniors, one sophomore and one freshman.

Select Company: Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree is the first freshman to earn AFCA Coaches’ All-America honors in the Football Bowl Subdivision since Georgia’s Herschel Walker in 1980.

Repeat After Me: Ohio State has the most players who have been repeat selections (12 players). The Buckeyes are followed by Oklahoma (9); Notre Dame (7); Southern California (7); Texas (6); Michigan (6); Arkansas (5) and Nebraska (5).

Four For Four: No player has earned AFCA FBS All-America honors four times, however Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) runningback Johnny Bailey did earn Coaches’ All-America honors four straight years (1986-87-88-89) in AFCA College Division I (now AFCA Division II).

Three-Timer: Georgia’s Herschel Walker is the only three-time AFCA Coaches’ All-American (1980-81-82) in the 62-year history of the team.

Two-Timers: A total of 125 players have earned AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team honors two or more times.

Double Duos: Teammates have now earned back-to-back Coaches’ All-America honors in the same seasons seven times. USC’s Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush (2004 and 2005) join Army’s Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard (1945 and 1946); Notre Dame’s George Connor and Johnny Lujack (1946 and 1947); Michigan State’s Bubba Smith and George Webster (1966 and 1967); Ohio State’s Jack Tatum and Jim Stillwagon (1969 and 1970); Notre Dame’s Ken MacAfee and Ross Browner (1976 and 1977) and Colorado’s Joe Garten and Alfred Williams (1989 and 1990).

One Player, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds is the only player to earn Coaches’ All-America honors at two different schools. He was named to the AFCA College Division I team in 1990 while playing for West Texas A&M. He transferred to Texas Tech after West Texas dropped football and earned I-A All-America honors as a Red Raider in 1991.

Consecutive Years: Notre Dame holds the record for consecutive years with at least one player on the AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team at 19 seasons (1963-1981). Nebraska had at least one player 12 straight seasons (1977-1989). Michigan (1969-1979), Oklahoma (1971-1981), Southern California (1972-82) and Miami (1984-1994) are next with 11 straight seasons. Pittsburgh placed one player on the AFCA team for 10 straight seasons from 1975-1984.

Super Six: Oklahoma’s six selections (Jammal Brown, OL; Jason White, QB; Tommie Harris, DL; Teddy Lehman, LB, Derrick Strait, DB; Antonio Perkins, RS) in 2003 are the most players from one school on the AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team.

Quad Squads: Six teams have placed four players on the AFCA All-America Team: 1945 Army: T-DeWitt Coulter, G-John Green, B-Glenn Davis, B-Doc Blanchard; 1966 Notre Dame: LB-Jim Lynch, FB-Nick Eddy, DT-Pete Duranko, OG-Tom Regner; 1967 Southern California: OT-Ron Yary, LB-Adrian Young, E-Tim Rossovich, HB-O.J. Simpson; 1990 Notre Dame: DB-Todd Lyght, DL-Chris Zorich, LB-Mike Stonebreaker, WR-Raghib Ismail; 1999 Florida State: WR-Peter Warrick, OL-Jason Whitaker, DL-Corey Simon; PK-Sebastian Janikowski; 2005 USC: WR- Dwayne Jarrett, OL- Taitusi Lutui, QB- Matt Leinart, RB- Reggie Bush.

Army’s four All-Americans in 1945 may be the most impressive showing of the above teams when you take into account the AFCA only selected an 11-player team at that time.