Palmer, McGahee Top AP All-America Team
By RICHARD ROSENBLATT ———
AP Football Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer has plenty of company when it comes to his latest honor: AP All-American.
The Southern California quarterback, along with record-smashing running backs Larry Johnson of Penn State and Willis McGahee of Miami, was among 25 players selected Tuesday to The Associated Press All-America team.
Ohio State, which plays top-ranked Miami for the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3, led the way with three first-teamers — strong safety Mike Doss, linebacker Matt Wilhelm and kicker Mike Nugent.
Notre Dame cornerback Shane Walton gave the Fighting Irish their first All-American since 1993, when offensive tackle Aaron Taylor made it.
Palmer threw for 3,639 yards and 32 touchdowns in leading the fifth-ranked Trojans (10-2) to a share of the Pacific-10 title and a berth in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder set seven league and 23 school records during his senior season.
Iowa's Brad Banks, AP College Player of the Year and Heisman runner-up, was the second-team quarterback. Miami's Ken Dorsey made the third team.
Johnson became just the ninth Division I-A player to top 2,000 yards, finishing with a school-record 2,015 yards and 23 touchdowns. The senior also led the nation in all-purpose yards with 2,575, and last week won the Maxwell Award as the nation's top player and the Doak Walker Award as the top running back.
McGahee, one of six sophomores on the team, set school records in rushing (1,686 yards), total yards (2,036 yards), 100-yard games (10) and touchdowns (27). He ran for 205 yards and a school-record six TDs in Miami's 56-45 win over Virginia Tech on Dec. 7.
Leading the defense were end Terrell Suggs of Arizona State, linebacker E.J. Henderson of Maryland and tackle Rien Long of Washington State.
Suggs, with an NCAA-record 22 sacks, won the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman. Henderson, who led the Terrapins to a second straight 10-win season with 163 tackles, was the lone repeater from last year. Long, with 13 sacks, took the Outland Trophy as the top interior lineman.
Charles Rogers of Michigan State and Reggie Williams of Washington were the wide receivers. Rogers caught a school-record 68 passes for 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns, and Williams had 89 catches for 1,390 yards and 11 TDs.
Four schools had two players apiece on the team — Miami, Iowa, Southern California and Oklahoma. Miami center Brett Romberg joined McGahee, while Southern Cal safety Troy Polamalu joined Palmer.
Iowa had two offensive players — tight end Dallas Clark and offensive lineman Eric Steinbach — and Oklahoma had two on defense — tackle Tommie Harris and linebacker Teddy Lehman.
In addition to Romberg and Steinbach, the other offensive linemen were Shawn Andrews of Arkansas, Derrick Dockery of Texas and Jordan Gross of Utah.
Derek Abney of Kentucky, who set an NCAA record with six kick returns for touchdowns, was the all-purpose player. The 5-10, 175-pound junior averaged 160.17 total yards per game.
Rounding out the defense were end David Pollack of Georgia and defensive back Terence Newman of Kansas State.
Mark Mariscal of Colorado was the punter. He led the nation with a 48.3-yard average, including 26 punts of 50 yards or longer.
There are 14 seniors, five juniors and six sophomores on the team.
The Big Ten led all conferences with seven All-Americans, followed by the Pac-10 and Big 12 with five apiece.
The All-America team was selected by the following sports writers:
Andrew Bagnato (Chicago Tribune); Tony Barnhart (Atlanta Journal-Constitution); Bill Campbell (Dallas Morning News); Chris Dufresne (Los Angeles Times); Dick Weiss (New York Daily News); Rusty Miller (AP Columbus, Ohio); Paul Newberry (AP Atlanta); Ken Peters (AP Los Angeles); Alan Robinson (AP Pittsburgh); John Zenor (AP Montgomery, Ala.); and Richard Rosenblatt (AP national college football writer).
*Big 12 players and Cowboy opponents appear in bold.
AP All-America Team
Quarterback : Carson Palmer, Southern California, 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, senior, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Running backs : Larry Johnson, Penn State, 6-2, 222, senior, State College, Pa.; Willis McGahee, Miami, 6-1, 224, sophomore, Miami.
Wide receivers : Charles Rogers, Michigan State, 6-4, 205, junior, Saginaw, Mich.; Reggie Williams, Washington, 6-4, 240, sophomore, Tacoma, Wash.
Tight end : Dallas Clark, Iowa, 6-4, 244, senior, Livermore, Iowa.
Center: Brett Romberg, Miami, 6-3, 290, senior, Windsor, Ontario.
Guards-Tackles: Shawn Andrews, Arkansas, 6-5, 345, sophomore, Camden, Ark.; Derrick Dockery, Texas, 6-6, 345, senior, Garland, Texas; Jordan Gross, Utah, 6-5, 306, senior, Fruitland, Idaho; Eric Steinbach, Iowa, 6-7, 284, senior, Lockport, Ill.
Kicker: Mike Nugent, Ohio State, 5-10, 170, sophomore, Centerville, Ohio.
All-Purpose: Derek Abney, Kentucky, 5-10, 175, junior, Mosinee, Wis.
Linemen : Tommie Harris, Oklahoma, 6-3, 280, sophomore, Killeen, Texas; Rien Long, Washington State, 6-6, 287, junior, Anacortes, Wash.; David Pollack, Georgia, 6-2, 275, sophomore, Snellville, Ga.; Terrell Suggs, Arizona State, 6-3, 251, junior, Chandler, Ariz.
Linebackers: E.J. Henderson, Maryland, 6-2, 250, senior, Aberdeen, Md.; Teddy Lehman, Oklahoma, 6-2, 235, junior, Fort Gibson, Okla.; Matt Wilhelm, Ohio State, 6-5, 245, senior, Lorain, Ohio.
Backs: Mike Doss, Ohio State, 5-11, 204, senior, Canton, Ohio; Terence Newman, Kansas State, 5-11, 185, senior, Salina, Kan.; Troy Polamalu, Southern California, 5-10, 215, senior, Tenmile, Ore.; Shane Walton, Notre Dame, 5-11, 185, senior, San Diego.< Fla.
Quarterback: Brad Banks, Iowa.
Running backs: Chris Brown, Colorado; Quentin Griffin, Oklahoma.
Wide receivers: Nate Burleson, Nevada; Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State.
Tight end: Kellen Winslow Jr., Miami.
Center: Jeff Faine, Notre Dame.
Guards-Tackles: Vincent Manuwai, Hawaii; Derrick Roche, Washington State; Jon Stinchcomb, Georgia; Brett Williams, Florida State.
Kicker: Nate Kaeding, Iowa.
All-purpose: DeJuan Groce, Nebraska.
Linemen: Michael Haynes, Penn State; Dan Klecko, Temple; Jerome McDougle, Miami; Cory Redding, Texas.
Linebackers: Boss Bailey, Georgia; Bradie James, LSU; LaMarcus McDonald, TCU.
Backs: Brandon Everage, Oklahoma; Terrence Holt, North Carolina State; Marlin Jackson, Michigan; Marcus Trufant, Washington State.
Punter: Andy Groom, Ohio State.
Quarterback: Ken Dorsey, Miami.
Running backs: Avon Cobourne, West Virginia; Steve Jackson, Oregon State.
Wide receivers: Andre Johnson, Miami; Shaun McDonald, Arizona State.
Tight end: Bennie Joppru, Michigan.
Center: Bruce Nelson, Iowa.
Guards-Tackles: Sherko Haji-Rasouli, Miami; Montrae Holland, Florida State; Will Ofenheusle, Tennessee; Mike Saffer, UCLA.
Kicker: Billy Bennett, Georgia.
All-purpose: Charles Pauley, San Jose State.
Linemen: Jarret Johnson, Alabama; William Joseph, Miami; Jimmy Kennedy, Penn State; Calvin Pace, Wake Forest.
Linebackers: Rod Davis, Southern Mississippi; Gerald Hayes, Pittsburgh; Courtney Watson, Notre Dame.
Backs: Rod Babers, Texas; Vontez Duff, Notre Dame; Chris Gamble, Ohio State; Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin.
Punter: Glenn Pakulak, Kentucky.