WSU

Cody O’Connell: Walter Camp All-American; WSU junior left guard is now two for two on major organization All-America teams

WASHINGTON STATE left guard Cody O'Connell may not have won the Outland Trophy on Thursday as the nation's top interior lineman but the Cougars' fourth-year junior from Wenatchee is two for two when it comes to other major recognition: O'Connell has been named first-team All-American by a second major organization.

O'Connell was named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America first team on Thursday. It's the oldest and one of the most respected All-America teams in the nation. He is the first Cougar since kicker Jason Hanson in 1989 to earn Walter Camp first-team honors.

Nicknamed The Continent, the 6-8, 354-pound O'Connell also was named to the Sporting News All-American first team earlier in the day. 

All the big news came to O'Connell in Atlanta, where he attended the Outland Trophy presentation. He was one of three finalists. The winner was Alabama's Cam Robinson.

One more first-team designation would make O'Connell a consensus All-American. To be considered a consensus All-American a player must be named a first-team honoree by three of the five major organizations: Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers of America, Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Selection to all five of the major teams makes for the rarest of the rare: unanimous first-team All-American. Jason Hanson is the only first-team unanimous All-America choice in WSU history.

Besides the two major A-A selections, O'Connell was also named first-team All-America by Pro Football Focus, USA Today and Sports Illustrated

What a year. And for an offensive lineman who started his first college game this season.  And it's not over yet. 

Washington State plays Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 (4 pm, ESPN).

Coming out of Wenatchee High, O'Connell was rated 2 stars by Scout.com and received only one other scholarship offer -- from Idaho -- besides WSU. “We knew he had the ability to play at this level. I’m proud of him. It’s awesome to see him step up and take advantage of the playing time,” WSU assistant coach Clay McGuire told CF.C in this feature story on O'Connell last month.

In what no doubt stands as one of the greatest oversights in Pac-12 history, O'Connell this season wasn't named either first- or second-team all-conference.

WSU’S 1ST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN HISTORY ON THE O-LINE:

Turk Edwards - 1930

Mel Hein - 1930

Harold Ahlskog – 1930

Laurie Niemi – 1948

Geoff Reece – 1974

Dan Lynch – 1984

Mike Utley – 1988

Scott Sanderson – 1996

Derick Roche – 2002

Cody O’Connell - 2016

RELATED STORY: O'Connell named All-America first team by Sporting News

Cody O'Connell shares a laugh on ESPN at the Outland Trophy presentation


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