Athlon's 2003 Preseason All-American First-Team Quarterback
Senior • Washington 6'4" 215
season Pickett broke just about every Washington passing yardage record in the
book. He also became the first 4,000-yard passer in Pac-10 history, completing a
hair under 60 percent of his passes for 4,458 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also
broke the conference record for completions in a season with 365. The senior
from Caldwell, Idaho, threw for 300-plus
yards in 11 of 13 games last fall and exceeded 400 yards three times.
Athlon's 2003 Preseason All-American First-Team Running Backs
Junior • Kansas State 5'7" 175
at his potential, averaging 7.5 yards on 28 carries, in his injury-shortened
freshman year of 2001. Then last season he exploded for 1,465 yards and 17
touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry and 112.7 per game. Sproles, who came
to K-State from Olathe, Kan., also contributed 99 yards on pass receptions and
236 yards returning kicks and punts. He teams with quarterback Ell Roberson in a
record-setting K-State backfield.
Junior • Oregon
State 6'3" 229
Jackson has emerged as arguably the premier running back
in the nation. His 1,690 rushing yards and 1,855 all-purpose yards both broke
Oregon State single-season records. His 130-yards-per-game average ranked eighth
nationally. Jackson, a Las Vegas native, ran for over 100 yards nine times last
fall and eclipsed the 200-yard mark on three separate occasions, including his
season-high 239-yard effort against California.
Preseason All-American First-Team Wide Receivers and Tight End
Junior • Washington 6'4" 220
Williams turned in the best pass-catching campaign ever at Washington, and after
just two years he is already the most prolific receiver in school history. His
career numbers stand at 149 receptions at 16.3 yards per catch. The returning
first-team All-American from Lakewood, Wash., caught 94 passes for 1,454 yards
and 11 touchdowns last year alone. His 89-yard touchdown catch against San Jose
State is another school record.
Senior • Oklahoma State
Woods could make All-America based on his performance in last
year's Oklahoma game alone. With Cowboy QB Josh Fields also on fire that day,
Woods torched the Sooners with 12 catches for a school single-game record 226
yards and three touchdowns. Two years ago, Woods set a school single-season
record with 80 catches and led the Big 12 with 1,023 yards. Last season, he
caught 107 passes for 1,695 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Junior • Miami 6'5" 233
The two finest pass-catching tight
ends in history both might be named Kellen Winslow. The former Missouri and San
Diego Charger star sits atop the list for now. The current Miami Hurricane is
challenging his father for the distinction. As a sophomore last year, Winslow
led the Canes in receiving with 57 catches for 726 yards and eight touchdowns,
surpassing the school's single-season receiving records for tight ends in his
first year as a starter.
Athlon's 2003 Preseason All-American
First-Team Offensive Line
Junior • Arkansas 6'5"
Andrews' 2002 honors include first-team All-Southeastern Conference
and first-team All-America, and he was awarded the Jacobs Trophy as the best
blocker in the SEC. With Andrews stationed at right tackle, Arkansas led the
conference and finished 12th nationally in rushing offense, and fielded a
1,000-yard rusher in Fred Talley. The home-grown giant registered 68 knockdown
blocks in '02, including five in the Music City Bowl.
Junior • Oklahoma 6'6" 305
Brown captured first-team All-Big 12
honors as a sophomore last season, his first as a starter after seeing extensive
playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2001. Positioned at right tackle for the
Sooners, the Lawton, Okla., product registered 80 knockdown blocks. He helped
clear the way for OU's 1,884-yard rusher, Quentin Griffin, and helped increase
the team's average per rush by a full yard over the previous season.
Senior • Kansas State 6'4" 285
every game at left guard for Kansas State the last two years, Leckey moves to
center for his senior season. Leckey was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a
sophomore in 2001 and was unanimously named first-team All-Big 12 last season.
Leckey spearheaded the blocking charge for a Wildcat offense that led the nation
with 49 rushing touchdowns and set a school record with 3,209 rushing yards.
Senior • Kentucky 6'5" 299
Hall enters his
senior season having started every game for Kentucky since arriving on campus as
a true freshman in 2000. Last season, he was a first-team All-SEC selection. He
was the top performer on an offensive line that paved the way for the
conference's leading rusher, Artose Pinner. As the Wildcats' right tackle, he
protects lefty Jared Lorenzen's blind side. He racked up 74 pancake blocks for
the season, including 14 against LSU.
Senior • USC 6'6"
Rogers returns as the Trojans' starting left tackle for the third
straight year and teams with Winston Justice as the top offensive tackle tandem
in the land. Rogers was named USC's Offensive Lineman of the Year after starting
11 games as a sophomore in 2001. Last season he was first-team All-Pac-10. He
spiced up his outstanding 2002 campaign with a two-yard run on a lateral in the
Trojans' trouncing of Notre Dame.
Athlon's 2003 Preseason
All-American First-Team Specialists
Nate Kaeding -
Senior • Iowa 6'0" 177
Kaeding won the 2002 Lou Groza
Award as the best placekicker in college football. He set a school record — and
a Big Ten mark for kickers — by scoring 120 points. Almost 40 percent of his
kickoffs are touchbacks.
Broderick Clark – Kick Returner
Louisville 6'0" 191
Clark is the top returnee among the nation's kick
returners entering 2003. The sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., averaged 28.9
yards on 31 kickoff returns as a redshirt freshman in 2002, scoring twice.
Andy Lee - Punter
Senior • Pittsburgh 6'2" 205
43.1 yards on 73 boots last season, with a long of 73 yards. The first-team
All-Big East returnee and conference co-Special Teams Player of the Year had 17
of his punts downed inside the 20 .
Derek Abney – Punt
Junior • Kentucky 5'10" 175
Abney ran back four punts for
touchdowns last season. He averaged 15.1 yards on 36 runbacks. He also averaged
14.2 yards on 40 pass receptions. And he also returned two kickoffs for
Athlon's 2003 Preseason All-American First-Team Defensive
Senior • Pittsburgh 6'4" 270
Harriott amassed 78 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks last
season on his way to first-team All-Big East. His seven forced fumbles were
second-most of any player in the country. The Belle Glade, Fla., import's three
sacks in the Virginia Tech game were key to the Panthers' win over the No.
3-ranked Hokies. He capped off the season with a Defensive MVP performance in
Pittsburgh's 38–13 Insight Bowl victory over Oregon State.
Junior • Oklahoma 6'3" 280
Harris wasted no time making a name
for himself with a first-team All-Big 12 and Freshman All-America season in
2001. He was slowed somewhat by nagging injuries last fall and his numbers were
a tad down, but he still landed on the AP, AFCA and Walter Camp Foundation
All-America teams and repeated as first-team All-Big 12. Over his first two
years the menacing tackle has compiled 24 tackles for a loss and has batted down
Senior • Ohio State 6'3" 271
first-team All-Big Ten selection last season, Scott possesses both strength and
quickness and can play either tackle or end. He finished the 2002 season with 43
tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. Scott arrived in Columbus from
Charleston, W.V., in 2000 as a linebacker, was moved to end and established a
reputation for big plays. He broke up four passes, forced three fumbles and
recovered two last fall.
Junior • Georgia 6'3" 278
As a freshman two years ago, Pollack started four games at defensive
tackle and posted modest numbers. Last year he switched to end, much to the
chagrin of the rest of the Southeastern Conference, and finished the season as
the SEC Player of the Year. Pollack racked up 102 tackles, 23.5 for losses of
128 yards and 14 sacks for minus-99 yards. He also intercepted two passes,
including an amazing take-away in the end zone against South Carolina.
Athlon's 2003 Preseason All-American First-Team Linebackers
Senior • Oklahoma 6'2" 241
Lehman was a
consensus first-team All-American and one of three finalists for the Butkus
Award last season. He compiled 112 tackles, including 17 for lost yardage. He
now has 212 career tackles, 33 behind the line. He returned an interception 20
yards against Texas to set up the go-ahead touchdown and ran back another pick
31 yards against Colorado. Lehman capped off his campaign with two sacks in the
Senior • Notre Dame 6'1" 234
Watson arrived at Notre Dame in 1999 as a lightly recruited, 190-pound
tailback from Sarasota, Fla., and has morphed into a ferocious, 234-pound
linebacker. Notre Dame rode its defense to 10 wins last fall, and Watson led the
way with a team-high 90 tackles. He broke up eight passes and intercepted four,
running one back 34 yards for a touchdown against Stanford. He also registered a
60-yard interception return against USC.
Senior • Southern
Miss 6'3" 246
Davis has been bad news for Southern Miss opponents for
three years. A ferocious hitter with uncanny instincts, Davis notched 168
tackles in 2002. Of that number, 122 were solo stops and 23.5 were for negative
yardage. He now has 362 tackles for his career, 40.5 behind the line, and he has
intercepted two passes in each of his first three years.
2003 Preseason All-American First-Team Defensive Backs
Junior • Ohio State 6'2" 180
Gamble was a regular on both
offense and defense for the final six games of 2002. As a flanker, he averaged
16.1 yards on 31 catches. As a cornerback, he is an All-American. He intercepted
a pass against Cincinnati on his very first play as a defensive back. All four
of his 2002 picks were game-savers, including the one he returned 40 yards for a
touchdown against Penn State. He also scored on a 43-yard reverse against
Senior • Oklahoma 6'0" 190
ago, Everage was second-team All-Big 12. Last year he was an All-American. He
started at free safety for the Sooners the entire season, collecting 94 total
stops. Everage tied for the team lead with six interceptions and broke up 11
other passes. He now has 225 tackles, nine picks and 22 pass break-ups for his
career. In the Colorado game, he posted 17 tackles and ran back an interception
Junior • Michigan 6'1" 189
started seven games at cornerback as a freshman for the Wolverines in 2001. Last
year he started all 13 contests and totaled 51 tackles, including five for a
loss, and one sack. He set school records for pass break-ups in a single game
(six) and season (18), and intercepted three other passes, bringing his career
total to six picks. He returned one of his 2002 INTs 19 yards for a touchdown
against Notre Dame.
Junior • Miami 6'3" 220
isn't a weakness in Taylor's game. As Miami's free safety, he plays the run like
a linebacker and covers receivers like a cornerback. He has size and speed and
hits with gusto. A first-team All-Big East selection in his first year as a
starter last fall, Taylor notched 85 tackles, intercepted four passes with 122
yards in returns, and broke up 15 other passes. His 2002 exploits also include a
blocked kick and a punt return for a touchdown.
Athlon Sports Preseason All-America Team
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