The last of the five major All-American teams will be handed out Wednesday, when the AFCA releases its A-A team.
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 Cougar to be named first-team unanimous 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.
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.
O'Connell becomes Washington State's fifth consensus All-American, joining Jerome Harrison (2005); Rien Long (2002) Jason Hanson (1989); Mike Utley (1988). Note: Rueben Mayes is listed by the Pac-12 media guide also as being a WSU consensus All-American in 1984 but CF.C as of yet has been unable to verify, research continues).
O'Connell was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy and has also been named first team All-America by Pro Football Focus, USA Today and Sports Illustrated.
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 by the Pac-12.
Washington State plays Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 (4 pm, ESPN).
WSU'S AP ALL-AMERICA HISTORY:
Deone Bucannon, safety - 2013
Jerome Harrison, running back - 2005
Rien Long, defensive tackle - 2002
Lamont Thompson, safety - 2001
Jason Hanson, kicker - 1989
Mike Utley, guard - 1988
Dan Lynch, guard - 1984
Clancy Williams, back - 1964
Turk Edwards, tackle - 1930
Mel Hein, center - 1930
George Sander, back - 1932
Bob Kennedy, fullback - 1942
Bill Steiger, end - 1956
Hugh Campbell, end - 1962
Rueben Mayes, running back - 1984
DeWayne Patterson, defensive end - 1994
Ryan Leaf, quarterback - 1997
Derrick Roche, center - 2002
Marcus Trufant, corner - 2002
Mel Dressel, tackle - 1928
Elmer Schwartz, fullback - 1930
Ed Goddard, quarterback - 1936
Nick Susoeff, end - 1941
Bill Sewell, quarterback - 1941
Don Ellingsen, end - 1957
Hugh Campbell, end - 1960
Hugh Campbell, end - 1961
Jason Hanson, punter - 1990
Chad Eaton, defensive tackle - 1994
Mark Fields, linebacker - 1994
Leon Bender, defensive tackle - 1997
Mkristo Bruce, defensive end - 2006
WSU’S FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA 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