Stuart McNair

Football Writers Have Alabama Surprise

Usual Alabama All-America suspects joined by Marlon Humphrey

It’s no surprise when Jonathan Allen makes an All-America team. He’s the winner of the Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Award as the nation’s best defensive player and the winner of the Hendricks Award as the nation’s best defensive end. He finished seventh in voting for the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best player. Allen was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

So, no surprise.

There’s no surprise when Reuben Foster makes All-America. He’s winner of the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker.

Cam Robinson, winner of the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman and winner of the Jacobs Award as the best blocker in the SEC, is no surprise as an All-America.

But the Football Writers Association of America surprised us.

No, they didn’t omit Allen or Foster or Robinson.

But it was a bit of a surprise when they included Bama cornerback Marlon Humphrey on its All-America team. It’s not that Humphrey isn’t a very fine player, because he is. Many expect him to declare for the NFL draft following this season because he is expected to be a very high draft choice.

The surprise is because Humphrey hadn’t been picked to an All-America team this year. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was selected to the Associated Press All-America team. Had he not been injured midway through the season, Eddie Jackson likely would have been All-America.

It’s not that Humphrey is not worthy. It’s just that he’s a surprise; a pleasant surprise.

Alabama led all schools with its four selections for the FWAA All-America team.

 So far this season, Allen, Foster, and Robinson have earned unanimous All-America honors with first-team selections by Walter Camp, The Sporting News, Associated Press, and the FWAA.

Humphrey scored the Tide’s first defensive touchdown of the season when he returned an interception 18 yards for a score against USC in the season opener on Sept. 3. He has 33 tackles (25 solo) with three tackles for loss, four pass breakups, a forced fumble, and two interceptions while allowing only 29 receptions against him in 12 games. Humphrey was an FWAA Freshman All-American selection in 2015 when he started all 15 games for the Tide.

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