The FWAA sent out the first of two All-American ballots yesterday. I had Notre Dame players all over mine, and I don’t feel bad about it.
Some of the best perks of being a card-carrying member of the Football Writers Association of America are the votes you get in the All-America team process, the Outland Trophy and Nagurski Award. My ballot had Notre Dame guys all over it.
The FWAA sent out the first of two ballots yesterday. We were asked to pick the All-America teams for defense and the five offensive line positions.
That was easy.
I voted Sam Mustipher as the first team center. He’s been a rock in the middle all season, helping to ease the quarterback transition and keeping the offensive line solid in both run blocking and pass protection.
On defense, I nominated Julian Okwara, Jerry Tillery, Te’von Coney, Drue Tranquill, Julian Love and Alohi Gilman. The Irish are having a championship-caliber season on defense, and the unit deserves as many players as it can get on the All America team. I firmly believe all six of those guys are among the best in the country at their respective positions.
I nominated Jerry Tillery for the Outland Trophy, the award given to the most outstanding interior lineman — offense or defense — in the country.
For the Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s best defensive player — I nominated Coney, Tillery and Love in that order. All three have had outstanding seasons, dominating the competition.
Did I go full homer? Sure did. But guess what? It’s my ballot. It’s my vote. With the dream season Notre Dame is having right now, I apologize to no one for my blatant homerism.