SI's 2012 PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM

August 20, 2012

Trojan playmakers, Crimson Tide big uglies, Bayou B engals defenders and a pair of Fighting Irishmen who bypassed the NFL to return to school are among college football's best and brightest

OFFENSE

Matt Barkley

QB, SR., USC

Early Heisman favorite threw for 3,528 yards, 39 TDs and only seven INTs in 2011.

Montee Ball

RB, SR., WISCONSIN

2011 Heisman finalist was last year's top rusher, with 1,923 yards and 33 scores.

Marcus Lattimore

RB, JR., SOUTH CAROLINA

A knee injury cost him half of 2011, but the workhorse is ready to be a star again.

Robert Woods

WR, JR., USC

Barkley's favorite target should build on stellar 2011: 111 catches, 1,292 yards, 15 TDs.

Sammy Watkins

WR, SOPH., CLEMSON

Two-game suspension will make it tough to top last year's 82 catches and 1,219 yards.

Tyler Eifert

TE, SR., NOTRE DAME

The Irish's top returning receiver (63 catches, 803 yards) will be key for budding unit.

Ricky Wagner

T, SR., WISCONSIN

Two-time All-Big Ten honorable mention made the Outland Trophy preseason watch list.

Jonathan Cooper

G, SR., NORTH CAROLINA

The veteran (35 starts) is a preseason Outland and Lombardi Award candidate.

Barrett Jones

C, SR., ALABAMA

Reigning Outland winner and versatile star will again anchor 'Bama's line.

Chance Warmack

G, SR., ALABAMA

Two-time national champ has started every game since his sophomore year.

Luke Joeckel

T, JR., TEXAS A&M

The 6'6", 310-pound All--Big 12 force should hold up against the SEC's elite D-lines.

Quinn Sharp

K, SR., OKLAHOMA STATE

Made 88% of field goals (with a long of 46) while also excelling as a punter.

Brad Wing

P, SOPH., LSU

Average of 44.4 yards with long of 73 as a freshman made the Aussie an instant star.

DEFENSE

Jadeveon Clowney

DE, SOPH., SOUTH CAROLINA

SEC's top freshman had eight sacks and will now lead the Gamecocks' D.

Kawann Short

DT, SR., PURDUE

All--Big Ten choice (54 tackles and 6½ sacks) captains the Boilermakers' defense.

Star Lotulelei

DT, SR., UTAH

Pac-12's offensive linemen voted him the conference's best D-line player.

Sam Montgomery

DE, JR., LSU

Returning All-America had nine sacks on a D that ranked second nationally in 2011.

Jarvis Jones

LB, JR., GEORGIA

All-America and Butkus Award finalist tied for second in nation with 13½ sacks in '11.

Manti Te'o

LB, SR., NOTRE DAME

A steady force, he unexpectedly returned after dazzling with 128 tackles as a junior.

Chase Thomas

LB, SR., STANFORD

All--Pac-12 LB returns after recording 8½ sacks and five forced fumbles last year.

Johnthan Banks

CB, SR., MISSISSIPPI STATE

Vet is second in Bulldogs history with 12 picks, three of which he returned for TDs.

David Amerson

CB, JR., NORTH CAROLINA STATE

All-America set school and ACC records with 13 INTs in 2011, second most in FBS history.

T.J. McDonald

S, SR., USC

Thorpe Award and Lott Impact Trophy candidate had 67 tackles and three picks in '11.

Eric Reid

S, JR., LSU

Big-play producer tied for team lead in tackles while creating four turnovers.

Tyler Lockett

KR, SOPH., KANSAS STATE

Speedy receiver burst onto scene as a true freshman, averaging 35.2 yards per return.

De'Anthony Thomas

ALL-PURPOSE, SOPH., OREGON

Explosive playmaker had an impact as a back, receiver and return man as a freshman.

PHOTOROBIN ALAM/ICON SMI PHOTOSHELBY DANIEL/ICON SMI PHOTOROBERT MAYER/US PRESSWIREAustin had four double-digit-reception games, including one in the Orange Bowl, in which he had a dozen catches and four TDs in a 70--33 win over Clemson.

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