To be consider a Consensus All-American in football a player has to be named to three of five All-America teams released by the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writer’s Association of America, the Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Several other publications, like our own SB Nation, release their own All-America teams that are also a nice honor, but the above five are the gold standard for the award.
The other All-America teams are a great honor, and one of Purdue’s own weas named to one today as linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley was selected as a First Team All-American by Pro Football Focus:
Linebacker: Joe Giles-Harris, Duke; Roquan Smith, Georgia; Ja’Whaun Bentley, Purdue
Giles-Harris finished with the No. 3 grade against the run at 92.3 while showing well in coverage at 84.6 and tying for sixth in the nation with 61 stops. Smith has been the heart and soul of Georgia’s playoff-caliber defense and he finished with the nation’s No. 3 grade in coverage (89.8) while ranking third with 65 total stops. Bentley has been the top run-stopping linebacker in the country at 94.6 while also breaking up two passes on only 28 targets.
Second team: David Long, West Virginia; T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin; Troy Dye, Oregon
These ratings appear to be based on advanced stats that I don’t understand, but if they lead to one of our guys being an All-American, I like it. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd team for all-Big Ten
So congrats, Ja’Whaun. He appears to be our first First Team All-American in football since Ryan Kerrigan in 2010.
Speaking of All-Americans, I would be remiss if we did not recognize Purdue Soccer’s Maddy Williams, who was named a Second Team All-American last week:
This one kind of slipped through the cracks, so I apologize to Maddy, but congratulations to her.