2008 NCAA Football All-American Predictions
This year should be an interesting one for voting all-Americans. Each position has at least two or three candidates that will be front-runners and some possible sleepers. There will be strong competition and definitely some unexpected winners.
Quarterback—Heisman winner Tim Tebow has to be the favorite at this position. With his arm and other potential All-American wide receiver Percy Harvin catching his passes he will definitely have a knock-out year.
He does have some tough competition with Missouri's Chase Daniel returning with a wide receiver corps that is one of the best in the nation. Daniel should have another great year.
Meanwhile West Virginia's QB Pat White leads all active players in rushing yards, not just quarterbacks. But can he keep it up with a new coach? Well it sure looks like it after his performance against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
Running Back—This should be a very close race between Chris "Beanie" Wells, Knowshon Moreno, and P.J. Hill.
Right now Wells is the favorite with a loaded offensive line with three seniors paving the way for him, but he could be splitting time with sophomore Brandon Saine and senior Maurice Wells.
Knowshon Moreno had a fantastic freshman year with 1,334 rushing yards and 14 TDs and making the freshman All-American team. He should have another great season in 2008.
Last year P.J. Hill was held back with injuries but was still able to get 1,212 yards on the ground. He missed both the Ohio State and Minnesota game and only got five carries in the Michigan game. This year he should bounce back with a very strong season.
Sleepers at this position would be Southern Mississippi's Damion Fletcher, who rushed for 2,974 yards over the last two seasons, and Boise State's Ian Johnson, who leads all active RBs with 3,418 rushing yards.
Tight End- Wisconsin's Travis Beckum is the clear leader this year, amassing 982 receiving yards last year. Chase Coffman of Missouri could give Beckum some strong competition. He has potential Heisman candidate Chase Daniel throwing to him so he could give Beckum a close race.
Wide Receiver- Sophomore Michael Crabtree had a fantastic freshman year, having no trouble getting into the end zone again and again and destroying freshman receiving records. But it will be extremely hard for him to match his 2007 numbers.
Behind Crabtree would be Florida's Percy Harvin, who, if he stays healthy, could be a Heisman contender.
Jeremy Maclin of Missouri will have Chase Daniel throwing the ball to him which is always plus, but his exciting game play could be what takes him to the top. Clemson's Aaron Kelly could be the sleeper. This year he is trying to break the ACC career receiving record for yards so he could also be a contender.
Offensive Tackle- Ole Miss' Michael Oher will headline this position, being a possible first-round pick in next year's draft. Behind Oher is Alabama's Andre Smith, who shared the Jacobs trophy as the best blocker in the SEC, and Phil Loadholt of Oklahoma.
Center- Favorite here is Jonathan Luigs, who won the Rimington trophy, which is given to the top center in the nation, last year and shared the Jacobs trophy with Andre Smith.
Last year's Rimington finalist Alex Mack of California will be Jonathan's competition, along with Max Unger of Oregon.
Offensive Guard- Possibly the best offensive lineman in the nation, Duke Robinson is the front-runner here. Last year's All-American selection Robinson should repeat this year. Anthony Parker of Tennessee should take the second spot.
Defensive End- Returning All-American George Selvie should take the top spot here. Selvie led the nation in tackles for loss last year with 31.5. His top competition is going be Indiana's Greg Middleton and Penn State's Maurice Evans. Middleton led the nation with 16 sacks in 2007 while Evans had 21.5 TFL and 12.5 sacks.
Defensive Tackle- Fili Moala will take over the defensive tackle spot for Sedrick Ellis at USC, and also should take his spot as the next All-American from USC.
Ole Miss' Greg Hardy should have another strong year. Though he missed three games last year Hardy still finished with 18 1/2 TFLs and should be Moala's top competition
Linebackers- With his return for his senior season at Ohio State James Laurinaitis should win the All-American here easily. Last year Laurinaitis won the Butkus Award given to the top linebacker in the nation.
Behind him Pittsburgh's Scott McKillop, who led the nation in tackles per game with 12.6, should take the second spot. Brandon Spikes, who started for the first time last year and had 131 tackles, will probably be third.
Other potential players here are USC's Rey Maualuga and South Carolina's Jasper Brinkley.
Cornerbacks- The Big Ten has two of the best defensive backs in the nation in Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis. These two will be fierce competitors for an All-American spot, along with Missouri's William Moore, who had eight interceptions and 115 tackles last season.
Kicker- Thomas Weber is the clear favorite. Last year he won the Lou Graza Award as the top kicker in the nation. Louie Sakoda of Utah and Sam Swank are his competition.
Punter- Returning All-American Kevin Huber of Cincinatti is the front-runner with Chris Miller of Ball State being his top competition.
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