NEW YORK -- Southern California is No. 1 in All-Americans,
Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and three of his Southern
California teammates made The Associated Press All-America team
Tailback Reggie Bush, defensive lineman Shaun Cody and
linebacker Matt Grootegoed joined their quarterback on the first
team. Bush, a Heisman finalist, was picked as the all-purpose
"It's really a tribute to the kind of season we've had," said
Leinart, in New York on Monday for the Heisman banquet."It just
speaks volumes for our program."
The junior left-hander has passed for 2,990 yards and 28
touchdowns this season, leading the top-ranked Trojans (12-0) to a
perfect regular season and becoming USC's sixth Heisman trophy
Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson, the Heisman runner-up who has
run for 1,843 yards and 15 TDs, is the first freshman AP
All-American since North Carolina cornerback Dre' Bly in 1996.
Peterson was joined on the first team by Sooners tackle Jammal
They'll line up against Leinart and USC in the Orange Bowl on
Oklahoma quarterback Jason White, a first-team All-American and
the Heisman Trophy winner last season, was a third-team selection
Monday. Utah quarterback Alex Smith was the second-team QB.
USC was tied with Michigan for the most first-teamers and had
six players total on the three AP All-America teams, the most of
USC defensive tackle Mike Patterson and linebacker Lofa Tatupu
made the third team.
"The defense tends to get overlooked a little bit with our
high-tech offense," Leinart said."Our defense is why we're
The second-ranked Sooners (12-0) put wide receiver Mark Clayton
and defensive end Dan Cody on the second team for a total of five
players on the three teams.
Big Ten co-champ Michigan (9-2) had four AP All-Americans, the
most in school history: wide receiver Braylon Edwards, center David
Baas and defensive backs Marlin Jackson and Ernest Shazor.
"Whenever you have the best defensive back in the country on
your team and you get to go against him everyday, it only gets you
better," Edwards said.
Jackson and Edwards were among 20 seniors on the first team, and
two of those who decided to delay an NFL career and return to
college for their final seasons.
"It was exceptionally fun," said Edwards, who caught 87 passes
for 1,221 yards."I believe this whole season has definitely paid
off for me."
Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson and Florida State tackle Alex
Barron both returned to school after being All-Americans last
season and ended up repeating.
"I think I've gotten better -- a lot better, actually," said
Johnson, who won the Butkus Award for best linebacker and Nagurski
Trophy for best defensive player."I've become a student of the
Georgia defensive end David Pollack, LSU defensive end Marcus
Spears, Miami cornerback Antrel Rolle and Auburn cornerback Carlos
Rogers all considered bypassing their final years of eligibility
and went on to become All-Americans.
California running back J.J. Arrington, second in the nation in
rushing at 167.7 yards per game, and Purdue wide receiver Taylor
Stubblefield, who caught 82 passes 1,014 yards and 15 touchdowns,
made the AP first team.
Virginia and Ohio State joined Oklahoma as teams with two
first-team All-Americans. Guard Elton Brown and tight end Heath
Miller made it from the Cavaliers, and linebacker A.J. Hawk and
kicker Mike Nugent were picked from the Buckeyes.
Tennessee's Michael Munoz made the first team, outdoing his dad.
Anthony Munoz was never an AP All-American when he was a star
offensive lineman for USC from 1976-79.
Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James and Michigan State punter
Brandon Fields completed the first team.
The Big Ten had the most first-teamers with nine. The Pac-10 had
five, followed by the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast
Conference with four each. The Big 12 had three.
Cedric Benson of Texas and Auburn's Carnell Williams were the
running backs on the second team. Ball State's Dante Ridgeway, who
leads the country in receptions and yards receiving, also made the
North Texas freshman Jamario Thomas, who leads the country with
189.9 yards per game, was picked to the third team. Ohio State
freshman Ted Ginn Jr. also made the third team as an all-purpose
player after returning four punts for TDs.
The All-America team was selected by the following sports
Joe Bendel, Pittsburgh Tribune Review; Ken Goe, The Oregonian;
John Henderson, The Denver Post; Ted Lewis, New Orleans
Times-Picayune; Chip Scoggins, Minneapolis Star-Tribune; Pete
Iacobelli (AP Columbia, S.C.); Larry Lage (AP Detroit); John
Marshall (AP Denver); John Nadel (AP Los Angeles); Keith Parsons
(AP Raleigh, N.C.); Ralph D. Russo (AP New York).