December 8, 2016

Samuel, Elflein & Hooker The Sporting News All-Americans

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Dec. 8, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The first official All-American team was announced over the internet Wednesday, by The Sporting News, and five Buckeyes were honored including three first-team selections: junior H-back Curtis Samuel was the All-American “athlete” while senior center Pat Elflein and sophomore safety Malik Hooker also earned first-team accolades. The honors represent the first first-team All-American awards for the trio.

Picking up second-team All-American honors was junior offensive guard Billy Price and junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan.

Samuel, a finalist for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award and a first-team all-Big Ten Conference receiver, ranked second in the Big Ten in receptions (65), yards (822) and receiving touchdowns (seven). From Brooklyn and Erasmus High School, Samuel also had 704 rushing yards and seven additional touchdowns and is the only player in the nation with at least 700 rushing and 700 receiving yards.

Hooker is fifth nationally in interceptions with six and he led the nation with three interceptions returned for touchdowns, including a critical TD-return in the season finale vs. Michigan. Hooker, from New Castle (Pa.) High School, also ranked second nationally with 181 punt return yards and he was third on the team with 67 tackles, including 5.0 tackles for loss.

Elflein, a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, the Outland Trophy and the Big Ten Conference’s Rimington-Pace offensive lineman of the year, is the anchor of an Ohio State offensive line that ranks ninth nationally in rushing at 258.3 yards per game and is one of three units selected as a finalist for the Joe Moore Offensive Line of the Year Award. From Pickerington, Ohio, and North High School, he has been a first-team all-Big Ten performer for the three consecutive years.

Price, a 6-4, 315-pound guard, is from Austintown (Ohio) Fitch High School and is a force along the offensive line alongside Elflein. Both players have started 40 consecutive games for the Buckeyes. Price was named first-team all-Big Ten conference by both the conference coaches and the voting media last week.

McMillan, from Hinesville, Ga., and Liberty County High School, has led the Buckeyes in tackles for two consecutive years, including 87 stops this season for a defense that is on the field less than 123 other schools (Ohio State’s offense is fifth nationally in time of possession at 33:55 per game). McMillan tied his career-high with 16 tackles vs. Michigan plus had a deflected pass that Hooker returned for a touchdown.

Up next: The Walter Camp All-American team will be announced later this evening during the ESPN College Football Awards Show.