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, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
QB • Trevor Lawrence, Clemson 6-6 215 Cartersville, Ga.
QB • Adrian Martinez, Nebraska 6-2 220 Fresno, Calif.
RB • Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State 5-11 211 Harbor City, Calif.
RB Anthony McFarland, Maryland 5-8 193 Hyattsville, Md.
WR • Rondale Moore, Purdue 5-9 175 New Albany, Ind.
WR • Jayden Reed, Western Michigan 6-0 170 Aurora, Ill.
WR • Jaylen Waddle, Alabama 5-10 177 Houston, Texas
OL • Trace Clopton, Southern Miss 6-2 290 Brookhaven, Miss.
OL Keegan Cryder, Wyoming 6-4 291 Littleton, Colo.
OL James Empy, BYU 6-4 297 American Fork, Utah
OL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma 6-5 325 Shawnee, Okla.
OL • Cade Mays, Georgia 6-6 318 Knoxville, Tenn.
OL Isaiah Wilson, Georgia 6-7 340 Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
DL • Jordan Davis, Georgia 6-6 320 Charlotte, N.C.
DL • Jamal Hines, Toledo 6-2 216 Cincinnati, Ohio
DL Juwuan Jones, WKU 6-3 270 Sugar Hill, Ga.
DL • Austin Lewis, Liberty 6-6 230 Jonesborough, Tenn.
LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa 6-4 250 Hominy, Okla.
LB Carlton Martial, Troy 5-10 216 Mobile, Ala.
LB • Merlin Robertson, Arizona State 6-3 235 Gardena, Calif.
LB • Mike Rose, Iowa State 6-3 228 Brecksville, Ohio
DB Paulson Adebo, Stanford 6-1 189 Mansfield, Texas
DB • Andre Cisco, Syracuse 6-0 199 Valley Stream, N.Y.
DB Adrian Frye, Texas Tech 6-1 175 Houston, Texas
DB • Caden Sterns, Texas 6-1 192 Cibolo, Texas
DB • Patrick Surtain II, Alabama 6-2 202 Plantation, Fla.
DB • Bryce Thompson, Tennessee 5-11 180 Irmo, S.C.
Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
P Clayton Howell, Appalachian State 6-0 183 High Point, N.C.
K Andre Szmyt, Syracuse 6-1 195 Vernon Hills, Ill.
KR K.J. Hamler, Penn State 5-9 173 Pontiac, Mich.
PR Marcus Hayes, New Mexico 6-0 199 Rockford, Ill.
AP • Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas 5-10 170 Marrero, 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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