USC junior safety Troy Polamalu, the Trojans' tackle leader this season, was named a 2001 All-American first team selection by the Football Writers Association of America.
It's the 122nd time a Trojan has been named an All-American first teamer. He is USC's first All-American since linebacker Chris Claiborne in 1998 and its first All-American safety since Mark Carrier in 1989.
Polamalu, who earlier this week made the 2001 All-Pac-10 first team, is tied for second in the league in tackles at 8.9 per game. Overall this season, he has 98 tackles (67 solo), including 10 for losses (with a sack), plus 3 interceptions (he returned 2 for touchdowns), 3 blocked punts, 2 fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and 5 pass deflections.
He has been Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl bound-USC's leading tackler in 7 games this year, including 6 in a row: 13 versus Kansas State (with a forced fumble), 10 versus Stanford (with a blocked punt), 13 at Washington (with a 22-yard interception return for a TD), 8 versus Arizona State, 11 at Notre Dame (with a fumble recovery to set up a USC TD), 12 at Arizona and 11 against Oregon State (with a blocked punt which USC recovered for a touchdown to earn his Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week honors). His tackles in 6 of those 7 games (all but Washington) were also game highs. He returned an interception 58 yards for a TD at California, then had a 36-yard interception runback and a blocked punt to set up a pair of field goals against UCLA as he was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week.
A two-year starter, in his career he has blocked 4 punts and has returned 3 of his 5 interceptions for TDs.