College football writers announce 2018 Freshman All-American team

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Pooka Williams
Anthony ‘Pooka’ Williams, the Hahnville High alum, has been chosen for the FWAA Freshman All-America squad.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (FWAA) – The 18th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team features five players taking part in tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and includes Clemson starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Alabama starting cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences with six total selections, led by Georgia, which led all schools with three: offensive linemen Cade Mays and Isaiah Wilson and and defensive lineman Jordan Davis. The Big 12 was second with five, followed by the Big Ten with four. All 10 FBS conferences and two independents are represented on the team.

Heading into tonight’s National Championship, Lawrence has posted one of the best regular seasons by a true freshman quarterback in history. Lawrence, a highly-touted early enrollee, played in the Tigers’ first four games before taking over as the starter. The Cartersville, Ga., product has thrown for 2,933 yards and 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions while averaging 12.3 yards per completion. Clemson’s offense is just 293 yards shy of breaking its own ACC record of 7,718 total yards set in 2015. The Tigers are averaging 530.4 total yards and 44.3 points per game. Lawrence has completed 65 percent of his passes.

Purdue’s Rondale Moore, among two Freshman All-Americans to be named to the FWAA’s All-America Team last month, leads the FBS with 114 receptions, the second-most in a season by a Big Ten player, and led the conference with 1,258 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. Including his special teams yardage, Moore led the conference in all-purpose yards with 2,215, fourth nationally. In his debut, Moore set the Purdue single-game record with 313 all-purpose yards against Northwestern on Aug. 30, gaining 79 rushing yards, 109 receiving yards and 125 kickoff return yards.

Kicker Andre Szmyt of Syracuse was also a first-team FWAA All-America selection. He led the nation in scoring with 151 points, making 30 of 34 field goal attempts – including 3-for-3 beyond 50 yards – and all 61 extra-point attempts. Szmyt’s teammate, safety Andre Cisco, among the national leaders with seven interceptions, gives the Orange a pair of players on the team. Alabama is the only other school with teammates honored, as wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was selected to the team.

Josh Heupel, who coached UCF to a 13-0 regular season and the American Athletic Conference title, is the First-Year Coach of the Year.

The 13-person panel of nationally-prominent college football experts represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team. Both true freshmen (18 players) and redshirt freshmen (14 players) were considered for the team and are so noted on the list below.

Pos.Player, SchoolHt.Wt.Hometown
QB• Trevor Lawrence, Clemson6-6215Cartersville, Ga.
QB• Adrian Martinez, Nebraska6-2220Fresno, Calif.
RB• Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State5-11211Harbor City, Calif.
RBAnthony McFarland, Maryland5-8193Hyattsville, Md.
WR• Rondale Moore, Purdue5-9175New Albany, Ind.
WR• Jayden Reed, Western Michigan6-0170Aurora, Ill.
WR• Jaylen Waddle, Alabama5-10177Houston, Texas
OL• Trace Clopton, Southern Miss6-2290Brookhaven, Miss.
OLKeegan Cryder, Wyoming6-4291Littleton, Colo.
OLJames Empy, BYU6-4297American Fork, Utah
OLCreed Humphrey, Oklahoma6-5325Shawnee, Okla.
OL• Cade Mays, Georgia6-6318Knoxville, Tenn.
OLIsaiah Wilson, Georgia6-7340Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pos.Player, SchoolHt.Wt.Hometown
DL• Jordan Davis, Georgia6-6320Charlotte, N.C.
DL• Jamal Hines, Toledo6-2216Cincinnati, Ohio
DLJuwuan Jones, WKU6-3270Sugar Hill, Ga.
DL• Austin Lewis, Liberty6-6230Jonesborough, Tenn.
LBZaven Collins, Tulsa6-4250Hominy, Okla.
LBCarlton Martial, Troy5-10216Mobile, Ala.
LB• Merlin Robertson, Arizona State6-3235Gardena, Calif.
LB• Mike Rose, Iowa State6-3228Brecksville, Ohio
DBPaulson Adebo, Stanford6-1189Mansfield, Texas
DB• Andre Cisco, Syracuse6-0199Valley Stream, N.Y.
DBAdrian Frye, Texas Tech6-1175Houston, Texas
DB• Caden Sterns, Texas6-1192Cibolo, Texas
DB• Patrick Surtain II, Alabama6-2202Plantation, Fla.
DB• Bryce Thompson, Tennessee5-11180Irmo, S.C.
Pos.Player, SchoolHt.Wt.Hometown
PClayton Howell, Appalachian State6-0183High Point, N.C.
KAndre Szmyt, Syracuse6-1195Vernon Hills, Ill.
KRK.J. Hamler, Penn State5-9173Pontiac, Mich.
PRMarcus Hayes, New Mexico6-0199Rockford, Ill.
AP• Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas5-10170Marrero, La.
Josh Heupel, UCF
• Denotes true freshman


Shaun Alexander
Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal (MW)
Mark Blaudschun, (ACC)
Scott Dochterman, The Athletic (Big Ten)
Mike Griffith, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Chair/Independents)
Tommy Hicks, Freelance (Sun Belt)
Ron Higgins, Freelance (SEC)
Blair Kerkhoff, The Kansas City Star (Big 12)
Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel (American Athletic)
Nick Piotrowicz, Toledo Blade (MAC)
Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director
Grant Traylor, Huntington Herald-Dispatch (Conference USA)
Ryan Young, (Pac-12)
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