Michigan State Defensive Tackle Jerel Worthy Named All American

Michigan State

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


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)


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)


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& Â Â Â 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);Â 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.

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.