UNC’s Cooper reaches ‘consensus’ All-America status
North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper was one of two ACC players chosen as a first-team selection on The Associated Press All-America team that was announced Tuesday.
Cooper, a senior from Wilmington, was joined on the first team by Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, who finished with 13 sacks.
Cooper has earned consensus All-America honors, and his name will be added to the honored jerseys in Kenan Stadium. He also was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated.
UNC running back Giovani Bernard, who led the ACC and was 11th in the country in rushing with 122.8 yards per game, was named to the third team after rushing for 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns. Bernard also had had 47 receptions for 490 yards and five TDs, and he led the nation in punt return average, was fourth in all-purpose average and fifth in scoring per game.
But Alabama is No. 1 when it comes to All-Americans.
The second-ranked Crimson Tide placed four players on team, including center Barrett Jones, who became a two-time first-team selection.
No other team had more than two players selected to the first team. The Tide also led with six players chosen to all three teams.
Nine SEC players made the first team, more than any other conference. The Pac-12 was second with six players on the first team. No other conference had more than two.
Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Stanford and Florida were second with four players on the three teams, though linebacker Manti Te’o was the only Fighting Irish player to make the first team.
Alabama faces top-ranked Notre Dame in the BCS championship game Jan. 7.
Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was the first-team quarterback.
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones also became two-time All-Americans.
The team was voted on by a panel of 16 AP college football poll voters.
Barrett Jones, a senior who made the All-America team as a tackle last season, was joined on the first team by Alabama teammates guard Chance Warmack, linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Dee Milliner. Offensive tackle D.J. Fluker was picked to the second team and quarterback AJ McCarron was selected to the third team.
Te’o, the Heisman finalists and winner of seven other awards — including the Maxwell, Nagurski and Butkus — is the first Notre Dame defensive player to be an AP All-American since defensive back Shane Walton in 2002.
Manziel is the first freshman to make the first team at quarterback. On Saturday, the redshirt freshman know as Johnny Football became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
Manziel set an SEC record with 4,600 total yards to rank second in the nation.
Heisman finalist Collin Klein of Kansas State was the second-team quarterback.
Ball repeated as an All-American, despite a slow start to the season and some early injuries. The senior is seventh in the nation in rushing at 133 yards per game, scored 21 touchdowns, and set the major college football record for career touchdowns. He has 82 going into the Rose Bowl.
Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, the nation’s leading rusher at 146 yards per game, was the other first-team running back.
The receivers were Southern California’s Marqise Lee, who leads the nation in catches (112) and was second in yards receiving (1,680), and Baylor’s Terrance Williams, who leads in yards with 1,764.
Stanford’s Zach Ertz was the tight end.
Joining Jones and Warmack on the offensive line were two junior tackles projected to be high first-round NFL draft picks: Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan.
“Team goals are bigger than individual goals, but one of my personal goals was to be an All-American and it’s an unbelievable feeling to reach that goal,” Lewan said Tuesday.
West Virginia’s Tavon Austin was selected as the all-purpose player, a perfect description of the do-it-all speedster.
Austin was primarily a receiver and racked up 1,259 yards through the air. Late in the season, coach Dana Holgorsen used Austin as a running back and against Oklahoma he the senior set a school-record with 344 yards rushing. He finished second in the nation in all-purpose yards with 230 per game, and returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns.
Tulane’s Cairo Santos was the All-American kicker after making all 21 of his field goal attempts.
On the defensive side, Te’o and Mosley were joined at linebacker by the other two-time All-American. Jones followed-up his sensational sophomore season with 12.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss.
Another SEC pass rusher highlighted the defensive line.
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had 13.5 sacks, tied for the most in the nation, playing in only 11 games. He’ll matchup against Lewan in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
“He’s very explosive player who plays every play to the whistle and never takes a snap off,” Lewan said. “It’s a great opportunity to see where I’m at and where he’s at and I’m excited about it. But it’s not about me or him, it’s about the University of Michigan playing South Carolina at the Outback Bowl.”
At defensive tackle was a pair of Pac-12 players: Utah’s Star Lotulelei and Arizona State’s Will Sutton, who was the conference defensive player of the year.
In the secondary, Jordan Poyer of Oregon State, who had seven interceptions, was the cornerback opposite Milliner.
Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas was voted to the first team after leading the nation with eight interceptions, including three returned for touchdown. Florida’s Matt Elam was the other safety.
The punter was Ryan Allen, who won his second straight Ray Guy Award last week.
QB—Johnny Manziel, Fr., 6-1, 200, Texas A&M.
RB—Montee Ball, Sr., 5-11, 215, Wisconsin; Ka’Deem Carey, soph., 5-10, 197, Arizona.
T—Luke Joeckel, Jr., 6-6, 310, Texas A&M; Taylor Lewan, Jr., 6-8, 309, Michigan.
G—Jonathan Cooper, Sr., 6-3, 295, North Carolina; Chance Warmack, Sr., 6-3, 320, Alabama.
C—Barrett Jones, Sr., 6-5, 302, Alabama.
TE—Zach Ertz, Sr., 6-6, 252, Stanford.
WR—Marqise Lee, soph., 6-0, 195, Southern Cal; Terrance Williams, Sr., 6-2, 205, Baylor.
All-purpose—Tavon Austin, Sr., 5-9, 171, West Virginia.
K—Cairo Santos, Jr., 5-8, 160, Tulane.
DE—Jadeveon Clowney, soph., 6-6, 256, South Carolina; Bjoern Werner, Jr., 6-4, 255, Florida State.
T—Star Lotulelei, Sr., 6-4, 320, Utah; Will Sutton, Jr., 6-1, 267, Arizona State.
LB—Manti Te’o, Sr., 6-2, 255, Notre Dame; Jarvis Jones, Jr., 6-3, 241, Georgia; C.J. Mosley, Jr., 6-2, 232, Alabama.
CB—Dee Milliner, Jr., 6-1, 199, Alabama; Jordan Poyer, soph., 6-0, 172, Oregon State.
S—Phillip Thomas, Sr., 6-1, 215, Fresno State; Matt Elam, Jr., 5-10, 202, Florida.
P—Ryan Allen, Sr., 6-2, 215, Louisiana Tech.
QB—Collin Klein, Sr., Kansas State.
RB—Kenjon Barner, Sr., Oregon; Johnathan Franklin, Sr., UCLA.
T—D.J. Fluker, Jr., Alabama; David Yankey, Jr., Stanford.
G—Spencer Long, Jr., Nebraska; Cyril Richardson, Jr., Baylor.
C—Dalton Freeman, Sr., Clemson.
TE—Tyler Eifert, Sr., Notre Dame.
WR—Stedman Bailey, Jr., West Virginia; Quinton Patton, Sr., Louisiana Tech.
All-purpose—Jordan Lynch, Jr., Northern Illinois.
K—Dustin Hopkins, Sr., Florida State.
DE—Damontre Moore, Jr., Texas A&M; Stephon Tuitt, soph., Notre Dame.
T—Johnathan Hankins, Jr., Ohio State; Kawann Short, Sr., Purdue.
LB—Kevin Minter, Jr., LSU; Anthony Barr, Jr., UCLA; Arthur Brown, Sr., Kansas State.
CB—Johnthan Banks, Sr., Mississippi State; Bradley Roby, soph., Ohio State.
S—Eric Reid, Jr., LSU; Tony Jefferson, Jr., Oklahoma.
P—Riley Stephenson, Sr., BYU.
QB—A.J. McCarron, Jr., Alabama.
RB—Giovani Bernard, soph., North Carolina; Stefphon Jefferson, Jr., Nevada.
T—Jake Matthews, Jr., Texas A&M; Eric Fisher, Sr., Central Michigan.
G—Larry Warford, Sr., Kentucky; Xavier Su’a-Filo, soph., UCLA.
C—Braxston Cave, Sr., Notre Dame.
TE—Austin Seferian-Jenkins, soph., Washington.
WR—DeAndre Hopkins, Jr., Clemson; Cobi Hamilton, Sr., Arkansas.
All-purpose—Dri Archer, Jr., Kent State.
K—Caleb Sturgis, Sr., Florida.
DE—John Simon, Sr., Ohio State; Sam Montgomery, Jr., LSU.
T—Shariff Floyd, Jr., Florida; Chris Jones, Sr., Bowling Green.
LB—Khaseem Greene, Sr., Rutgers; Trent Murphy, Sr., Stanford; Kyle Van Noy, Jr., BYU.
CB—Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, soph., Oregon; Jason Verrett, Jr., TCU.
S—Ed Reynolds, Jr., Stanford; Ty Zimmerman, Jr., Kansas State.
P—Kyle Christy, soph., Florida.