WACO, TEX. — Alabama runningback Trent Richardson and LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne headline the 2011 AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-America Team announced today by the American Football Coaches Association. 

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.

Richardson is fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game, averaging 131.92, and has scored 23 touchdowns this season, ranking him fifth in scoring at 11.5 points per game. Richardson is a finalist for the Maxwell Award and the Doak Walker Award. Claiborne has totaled 46 tackles, 28 of them solo, and six interceptions, which ranks him No. 9 nationally. He also has 12 passes defended and six pass break ups. Claiborne is a finalist for the Thorpe Award and the Bronco Nagurski Trophy. 

 

2011 AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-America Team

Offense

Pos      Name  Ht.       Wt.      Cl.        School Coach  Hometown (High School)

WR      Justin Blackmon*        6-1       215      Jr.        Oklahoma St.  Mike Gundy     Ardmore, Okla. (Plainview)

WR      Jordan White   6-0       215      Sr.        Western Michigan      Bill Cubit         Cleveland, Ohio (North Ridgeville)

TE        Orson Charles 6-3       241      Jr.        Georgia           Mark Richt      Tampa, Fla. (Plant)

OL        Kevin Zeitler    6-4       315      Sr.        Wisconsin        Bret Bielema   Waukesha, Wis. (Lutheran)

OL        Barrett Jones   6-5       311      Jr.        Alabama          Nick Saban      Memphis, Tenn. (Evangelical Christian)

C          Peter Konz       6-5       315      Jr.        Wisconsin        Bret Bielema   Neenah, Wis. (Neenah)

OL        David DeCastro           6-5       310      Sr.        Stanford          David Shaw     Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue)

OL        Levy Adcock    6-6       322      Sr.        Oklahoma St.  Mike Gundy     Claremore, Okla. (Sequoyah)

QB       Andrew Luck   6-4       235      Sr.        Stanford          David Shaw     Houston, Texas (Stratford)

RB        Trent Richardson        5-11     224      Jr.        Alabama          Nick Saban      Pensacola, Fla. (Escambia)

RB        Montee Ball    5-11     210      Jr.        Wisconsin        Bret Bielema   Wentzville, Mo. (Timberland)

 

Defense

Pos      Name  Ht.       Wt.      Cl.        School Coach  Hometown (High School)

DL        Jerel Worthy   6-3       310      Jr.        Michigan St.    Mark Dantonio            Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne)

DL        Alex Okafor     6-4       260      Jr.        Texas   Mack Brown    Pflugerville, Texas (Pflugerville)

DL        Whitney Mercilus       6-4       265      Jr.        Illinois  Ron Zook         Akron, Ohio (Garfield)

DL        Melvin Ingram            6-2       276      Sr.        South Carolina            Steve Spurrier Hamlet, N.C. (Richmond County)

LB        Dont’a Hightower       6-4       260      Jr.        Alabama          Nick Saban      Lewisburg, Tenn. (Marshall County)

LB        Jarvis Jones     6-3       241      So.       Georgia           Mark Richt      Columbus, Ga. (Carver)

LB        Lavonte David 6-1       225      Sr.        Nebraska         Bo Pelini          Miami, Fla. (Northwestern)

DB       Mark Barron   6-2       218      Sr.        Alabama          Nick Saban      Mobile, Ala. (St. Paul’s)

DB       Morris Claiborne        6-0       185      Jr.        LSU      Les Miles         Shreveport, La. (Fair Park)

DB       Markelle Martin         6-1       198      Sr.        Oklahoma St.  Mike Gundy     Wichita Falls, Texas (Rider)

DB       DeQuan Menzie          6-0       198      Sr.        Alabama          Nick Saban      Columbus, Ga. (Carver)

 

Specialists

Pos      Name  Ht.       Wt.      Cl.        School Coach  Hometown (High School)

P          Shawn Powell  6-4       235      Sr.        Florida St.        Jimbo Fisher    Rome, Ga. (Darlington Prep)

PK        Randy Bullock 5-9       212      Sr.        Texas A&M     Mike Sherman            Klein, Texas (Klein)

AP        LaMichael James*      5-9       195      Jr.        Oregon            Chip Kelly        Texarkana, Texas (Liberty-Eylau)

*-2010 All-American

 

Team Background: The teams now chosen for each of the AFCA’s five divisions evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams, University Division and College Division, were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams — Division I-A and Division I-AA. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively. In 2006, the Division I-A and Division I-AA teams were renamed Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), respectively. The AFCA started selecting an NAIA All-America Team in 2006.

 

Top Team: Oklahoma has had the most players named to the AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team. The Sooners have been represented 61 times by 52 players on the AFCA team. They are followed by Ohio State (57/43); Notre Dame (56/49); Michigan (54/48); Southern California (54/49); Nebraska (51/46); Alabama (48/47); Texas (46/40); UCLA (34/32) and Georgia (34/29).

 

Top Conference: The Big 12 boasts the most AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team representatives among current conference members with 259, just ahead of the Big Ten at 253 representatives. Following those two are the Southeastern Conference (244), the Pac-12 (177), Atlantic Coast (166), Big East (67), Western Athletic (61), Mountain West (54), Conference USA (51), Sun Belt (40) and Mid-American (30) (Totals include school All-America selections in all divisions).

The 2011 conference-by-conference breakdown: SEC: 9; Big Ten: 6; Big 12: 5; Pac-12: 3; ACC: 1; MAC: 1.

Class Distinction: The 2011 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of 12 seniors, 12 juniors and 1 sophomore.

 

Repeat After Me: Ohio State has the most players who have been repeat selections (14 players). The Buckeyes are followed by Oklahoma (9); Notre Dame (7);  Southern California (7); Texas (6); Michigan (6); Arkansas (5); Nebraska (5); Florida State (4); Georgia (4) and LSU (4).

 

Three-Timer: Georgia’s Herschel Walker is the only three-time AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-American (1980-81-82) in the 67-year history of the team. 

 

Double Duos: Teammates have earned back-to-back Coaches’ All-America honors in the same seasons seven times. USC’s Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush (2004 and 2005) join Army’s Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard (1945 and 1946); Notre Dame’s George Connor and Johnny Lujack (1946 and 1947); Michigan State’s Bubba Smith and George Webster (1966 and 1967); Ohio State’s Jack Tatum and Jim Stillwagon (1969 and 1970); Notre Dame’s Ken MacAfee and Ross Browner (1976 and 1977) and Colorado’s Joe Garten and Alfred Will­iams (1989 and 1990).

 

One Player, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds is the only player to earn Coaches’ All-America honors at two different schools. He was named to the AFCA College Division I team in 1990 while playing for West Texas A&M. He transferred to Texas Tech after West Texas dropped football and earned I-A All-America honors as a Red Raider in 1991.

 

Consecutive Years: Notre Dame holds the record for consecutive years with at least one player on the AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team at 19 seasons (1963-1981). Neb­raska had at least one player 12 straight seasons (1978-1989). Michigan (1969-1979), Oklahoma (1971-1981), Sou­thern Cali­for­nia (1972-82) and Miami (Fla.) (1984-1994) are next with 11 straight seasons. Pitts­burgh placed one player on the AFCA team for 10 straight seasons from 1975-1984.

 

Super Six: Oklahoma’s six selections (Jammal Brown, OL; Jason White, QB; Tommie Harris, DL; Teddy Lehman, LB, Derrick Strait, DB; Antonio Perkins, RS) in 2003 are the most players from one school on the AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-America Team. 

 

Fantastic Five: Alabama’s five selections (Barrett Jones, OL; Trent Richardson, RB; Dont’a Hightower, LB; Mark Barron, DB; DeQuan Menzie, DB) in 2011 are the second most players from one school on the AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-America Team. 

 

Quad Squads: Alabama became the seventh team to place four players on the AFCA All-America Team in 2008 (OL-Andre Smith, C-Antoine Caldwell, DL-Terrence Cody, DB-Rashad Johnson). The others are: 1945 Army: T-DeWitt Coulter, G-John Green, B-Glenn Davis, B-Doc Blanchard; 1966 Notre Dame: LB-Jim Lynch, FB-Nick Eddy, DT-Pete Duranko, OG-Tom Regner; 1967 Southern California: OT-Ron Yary, LB-Adrian Young, E-Tim Rosso­vich, HB-O.J. Simpson; 1990 Notre Dame: DB-Todd Lyght, DL-Chris Zorich, LB-Mike Stonebreaker, WR-Raghib Ismail; 1999 Florida State: WR-Peter Warrick, OL-Jason Whitaker, DL-Corey Simon; PK-Sebastian Janikowski; 2005 USC: WR- Dwayne Jarrett, OL- Taitusi Lutui, QB- Matt Leinart, RB- Reggie Bush.

Army’s four All-Americans in 1945 may be the most impressive showing of the above teams when you take into account the AFCA only selected an 11-player team at that time.