WSU

IT’S UNANIMOUS: Cody O’Connell named first team AFCA All-American, becomes second unanimous A-A in WSU history

IT’S UNANIMOUS! Cody O’Connell was named first team AFCA All-American on Wednesday, completing a sweep of all five of the major All-American awards. The fourth-year junior becomes the second Cougar in program history to be named unanimous All-America.

Kicker Jason Hanson, who went on to a spectacular career with the Detroit Lions, is the only Cougar to be named a first-team unanimous All-American selection. He was so honored in 1989.

O'Connell has now been named first-team All-America by the five majors:

Associated Press
American Football Coaches Association
Football Writers of America
Sporting News
Walter Camp Football Foundation


Additionally, the Cougar left guard has been named first-team All-America by:
Sports Illustrated
USA Today
Pro Football Focus
ESPN.com
Fox Sports
CBS Sports
SB Nation

And O'Connell was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation's best interior lineman on offense or defense. 

But in what no doubt stands as one of the most glaring oversights in the 101-year history of the Pac-12, O'Connell this season wasn't named either first- or second-team all-conference by the Pac-12.  He instead was named honorable mention. 

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.  If you're wondering just how the heck an o-lineman goes from his first collegiate start just a few months ago to a unanimous All-American, you'll want to re-read our interview with WSU assistant coach Clay McGuire. Here's what McGuire told CF.C in this feature story on O'Connell last month

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

NOTABLE NOTES:
* To be considered a consensus All-American a player must be named a first-team honoree by three of the five major organizations: AP, AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation.

* Cougars Jerome Harrison (2005); Rien Long (2002); Jason Hanson (1989) and Mike Utley (1988) are the only other WSU consensus All-Americans. Note: Rueben Mayes is listed by the Pac-12 media guide also as being a WSU consensus All-American in 1984 but CF.C has been unable to confirm, research continues).

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


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