B/R's 2021 College Football All-American Teams

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2021

B/R's 2021 College Football All-American Teams

0 of 8

    Jameson Williams
    Jameson WilliamsBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

    All-American season has arrived!

    The annual tradition of recognizing the best college football players is back with a distinct Alabama, Georgia andwait for itCincinnati flavor in 2021. All three College Football Playoff-bound programs have multiple All-American choices, even accounting for more than half of the defensive selections.

    Additionally, the Big Ten is well-represented on the list. Big-name players like Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III and Iowa's Tyler Linderbaum all made the cut.

    Bleacher Report's college football crewDavid Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Morgan Moriarty and Brad Shepardall voted to shape our 2021 All-American team.

Quarterback

1 of 8

    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    QB: Bryce Young, Alabama

    Considering that Bryce Young is likely to win the Heisman Trophy, it shouldn't be a surprise he was B/R's unanimous All-American choice at quarterback.

    Young ranks fourth nationally in passing yards (4,322), second in touchdown passes (43), sixth in yards per attempt (9.4) and has only four interceptions in 462 total throws. He's also completed 68.0 percent of his attempts and rushed for three touchdowns.

    And, most notably, he guided the Crimson Tide to their seventh CFP appearance in eight years.

Running Backs

2 of 8

    Kenneth Walker III
    Kenneth Walker IIIAl Goldis/Associated Press

    RB: Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

    Central Michigan's Lew Nichols III is the lone player who outrushed breakout star Kenneth Walker III, who propelled Michigan State back into the national conversation this year. Walker, a transfer from Wake Forest, piled up 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns to help the Spartans make a New Year's Six bowl.

              

    RB: Breece Hall, Iowa State

    Also a B/R All-American in 2020, Breece Hall finished the season with 1,472 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground, adding 36 catches for 302 yards and three scores. He tallied the most total touchdowns (23) in the FBS and averaged the third-most yards from scrimmage (147.8). Along the way, Hall set an FBS record with a rushing touchdown in 24 consecutive games.

Wide Receivers and Tight End

3 of 8

    Jordan Addison
    Jordan AddisonAssociated Press

    WR: Jameson Williams, Alabama

    Jameson Williams played significant snaps at Ohio State in 2019 and 2020, but he tallied only 15 receptions across those two years. So, naturally, Williams turned into a big-play weapon with 68 catches for 1,445 yards and 15 scores for the Crimson Tide. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

              

    WR: Jordan Addison, Pitt

    Pitt's ascent to an ACC championship and Kenny Pickett's rise to Heisman contention is a large credit to Jordan Addison, who reeled in 93 catches for 1,479 yards and 17 touchdowns. Addison leads the FBS with 31 catches of 20-plus yards.

              

    WR: David Bell, Purdue

    David Bell had seven 100-yard performances, but he surpassed the 200-yard barrier in Purdue's major upsets over both Iowa and Michigan State this season. Overall, the prized NFL prospect racked up 93 receptions for 1,286 yards and six scores.

             

    TE: Trey McBride, Colorado State

    Although he didn't score as often as Coastal Carolina's Isaiah Likely, Trey McBride consistently produced for the Rams. He posted 80-plus yards in nine contests, crossing the 100-yard mark six times. McBride paced FBS tight ends with 90 catches and 1,121 yards.

Offensive Linemen

4 of 8

    Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

    OT: Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State

    OG: Josh Seltzner, Wisconsin

    C: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

    OG: Zion Johnson, Boston College

    OT: Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

              

    In the absence of traditional counting stats, know this: Lining up opposite these blockers was a nightmare.

    Left tackle Ikem Ekwonu was a devastating force for NC State's running game. Meanwhile, Kentucky right tackle Darian Kinnard overwhelmed nearly every defender he faced in 2021.

    Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, whom B/R's Scouting Department considers a top-five prospect for the 2022 NFL draft, leads the interior choices. He is arguably the single-best lineman in the FBS. Rounding out the group, Wisconsin's Josh Seltzner and BC's Zion Johnson both earned first-team nods from their respective conferences.

Defensive Linemen

5 of 8

    Aidan Hutchinson
    Aidan HutchinsonCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    DE: Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

    One of three unanimous picks on the defensive line, Aidan Hutchinson is the on-field face of Michigan's fantastic season. Hutchinson collected 58 tackles with 14 sacks, the third-highest total in the FBS. While he was officially credited with 12 hurries, any game replay will show Hutchinson creating far more havoc than that.

              

    DT: Jordan Davis, Georgia

    Jordan Davis, also a unanimous choice, was a near-immovable force on the inside of the line. He provided 28 tackles but commanded extra attention all season, giving the rest of UGA's top-ranked defense a greater chance to finish plays quickly.

              

    DL: DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

    While he primarily lined up as an edge-rusher, DeMarvin Leal regularly shifted inside for Texas A&M, too. Few linemen offered his combination of versatility and production in 2021. Leal gathered 58 tackles, 12.5 takedowns for loss and 8.5 sacks.

             

    Edge: Will Anderson, Alabama

    Will Anderson led the nation in both tackles for loss (31.5) and sacks (15.5). Oh, and he amassed 91 tackles for the SEC champions. Of course he was a unanimous selection.

Linebackers

6 of 8

    Nakobe Dean
    Nakobe DeanPhelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    LB: Nakobe Dean, Georgia

    Looking solely at the numbers, Nakobe Dean doesn't jump off the screen. He posted 61 tackles with 8.5 for loss and five sacks, five pass breakups and five hurries. Turn on a Georgia game, though, and Dean was constantly the most impressive player. Blitzing, shooting gaps, dropping in coverage; you name it, he excelled.

              

    LB: Devin Lloyd, Utah

    Devin Lloyd, on the other hand, reinforced his incredibly play with eye-popping stats. The fourth-year linebacker amassed 106 tackles (22 TFL) and eight sacks. Along with six pass breakups, he snagged four interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. Lloyd keyed Utah's run to a Pac-12 title.

              

    LB: Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati

    The first of three All-Americans for Cincinnati, Darrian Beavers is a great example of the ideal linebacker. He's physically imposing and attacks downhill, yet fast and versatile. Beavers logged 90 tackles (10 TFL) and four sacks. He also forced two fumbles and snatched a pick.

Defensive Backs

7 of 8

    Ahmad Gardner
    Ahmad GardnerJeff Dean/Associated Press

    CB: Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

    CB: Coby Bryant, Cincinnati

    The greatest compliment a quarterback can give a corner is not throwing at him. Ahmad Gardner only has four pass breakups and three interceptions, but few quarterbacks even attempted to target Gardner's responsibility. After all, that receiver wasn't open anyway.

    That also makes what Coby Bryant accomplished a little more impressive. He dealt with a much greater volume of targets, breaking up 11 passes and intercepting three. Bryant also has 41 tackles and three forced fumbles for the CFP-bound Bearcats.

              

    NB: Jalen Pitre, Baylor

    Jalen Pitre is the hybrid defender that every modern unit needs. His ability to stop the run, contribute as a blitzer and play tight coverage is adequately reflected in his final stats, too. Pitre has collected 70 tackles (17.5 TFL), 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.

             

    S: Lewis Cine, Georgia

    Georgia has an All-American at every level. Not bad, Dawgs. Lewis Cine completes the trio after registering 61 tackles, eight pass breakups and an interception. Cine seldom missed a tackle, cleaning up the rare messes that escaped UGA's front seven.

              

    S: Jordan Battle, Alabama

    Jordan Battle is a controlled missile. While building a reputation for hard hits at Alabama, though, he's also developed into a reliable cover man. Entering the CFP, Battle has 76 tackles, three pass breakups and three interceptions, with two pick-sixes.

Specialists

8 of 8

    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    K: Caleb Shudak, Iowa

    Only two players have drilled more field goals than Caleb Shudak, who's connected on 23-of-27 attempts. Most impressively, he's a perfect 7-for-7 from 40-49 yards and 4-of-6 from 50 yards or beyond. Shudak has also hit all 34 extra points.

              

    P: Matt Araiza, San Diego State

    Heading into SDSU's bowl game, Matt Araiza currently holds single-season records for average punt yardage (51.4), 50-yard punts (39) and 60-yard punts (18). All hail Punt God.

              

    KR: Brian Battie, South Florida

    The only player in the nation with three kick-return touchdowns, Brian Battle sprinted past Tulsa for his first score. Then, he took two kickoffs to the house against Houston. Battie's 32.5-yard average on kick returns is the sixth-best mark in the FBS.

             

    PR: Britain Covey, Utah

    Houston's Marcus Jones was a narrow miss at both cornerback and punt returner. Instead, this honor goes to Britain Covey, who between an LDS mission and 2020's eligibility pause feels like a 17th-year senior at Utah. Covey took back two punts for touchdowns and ranks third nationally with 14.7 yards per return.

              

    Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research.

    Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X