Some history and information about the 2016 Walter Camp All-America Teams.
A Little History
This is the 127th edition of the Walter Camp All-America team – the nation’s oldest All-America team. Twenty-five players have been selected to the first team by the 129 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, 26 players, due to ties in the voting, have been selected to the Second Team.
- From 1889 to 1964, eleven players were selected.
- In 1965, both offensive and defensive teams were picked.
- In 1972, the first punter (Ray Guy, Southern Mississippi) was honored.
- In 1975, the first placekicker (Chris Bahr, Penn State) was selected.
- In 1998, the first-ever Second Team All-America team was recognized.
- In 2001, the first kick returner (Herb Haygood, Michigan State) was picked.
In all, 28 different schools from eight conferences were represented on the All-America First and Second Teams (a total of 51 players selected). Alabama had three players selected to the First Team, and two to the second team, while Ohio State had two First Teamers and three Second Teamers. Florida State (3 First Team, 1 Second Team) and Clemson (4 Second Team) each had four honorees.
Then and Now
Twenty-eight different schools are represented on the 2016 Walter Camp All-America First Team – the 127th honored in the name of the former Yale University football coaching legend. Of the 28 schools, Michigan has the most storied tradition of placing members on the team. The Wolverines had their first selection in 1903, halfback William Heston. This year, Michigan has three First Team selections (TE Jake Butt, LB Jabrill Peppers and DB Jourdan Lewis). Since 1903, Michigan has had 77 Walter Camp All-Americans.
Of the 25 First Team selections, 11 are seniors. There are nine juniors and five sophomores. On the Second Team (26 total selections), there are 12 seniors, 11 juniors, and three sophomores.
Player of the Year Lamar Jackson
Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson is the 50th recipient of the Walter Camp Player of the Year award. Jackson is the first Cardinals player to win the prestigious honor, and is the 18th quarterback to earn the award. Jackson is also ninth player from an Atlantic Coast Conference school to win the award, and the second in the last four years (Jameis Winston, Florida State, 2013). A dual-threat for the Cardinals, Jackson has accounted for 51 touchdowns (30 passing, 21 rushing) and 4,928 yards (3,390 passing, 1,538 rushing) this season.
Good to See You Again
One player – defensive end Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) – is a repeat First Team All-American. Seven other players are being honored again as Walter Camp All-Americans. First Team running back Dalvin Cook (Florida State) and defensive back Jordan Lewis (Michigan) were Second Team honorees a year ago. Second Team defensive back Desmond King (Iowa) was a First Team honoree in 2015. Four others are repeats as Second Team All-Americans – quarterback Deshaun Watson (Clemson), placekicker Daniel Carlson (Auburn), defensive back Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State) and running back Christian McCaffrey (Stanford).
Texas A&M and Florida State have had at least one Walter Camp First Team All-American in each of the last seven years. It is the longest current streak. The all-time record belongs to Notre Dame (18 straight years, 1964 to 1981).
Since 2011, Alabama has had 18 Walter Camp First Team All-Americans, including three this season (OL Cam Robinson, DT Jonathan Allen and LB Reuben Foster).
USC junior Adoree’ Jackson earned Walter Camp All-American First Team honors as a defensive back. In addition, he was named to the Second Team honors as a kick returner. He is the fifth player (all since 2009) to be a twice-honored Walter Camp All-American in the same year. Jackson joins former Kansas State standout Tyler Lockett (2014 – Second Team as WR/KR), Oregon’s Cliff Harris (2010, Second Team DB and KR), Clemson’s C.J. Spiller (2009, First Team KR and Second Team RB), and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey (2015, Second Team RB and KR).
Like Father, Like Son
East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones is a First Team All-American after setting a FBS record with 158 receptions. Jones is the first Pirate since 1999 to be honored. In addition, Jones’ father Robert (an ECU linebacker) was a Walter Camp All-American in 1991 before going on to a 10-year professional career that saw him win three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. The Jones’ are the second father-son combo to earn Walter Camp All-America honors — Georgia’s Kevin Butler (PK, 1985) and Drew Butler (P, 2009).
- Linebacker Zach Cunningham is the first Vanderbilt player since 1984 (DB Rick Anderson) to earn Walter Camp First Team All-America honors.
- Running back Donnel Pumphrey is the first San Diego State All-American since two-time honoree Marshall Faulk (1992 and 1993).
- Oklahoma has had 61 players earn Walter Camp All-America status, but Dede Westbrook joins Ryan Broyles (2010 and 2011) as the only Sooner wide receivers to earn the national recognition.
- Lamar Jackson is the first Louisville offensive player to earn Walter Camp All-America honors.
- Florida State has three first-team All-Americans –OL Roderick Johnson, RB Dalvin Cook and DL DeMarcus Walker. It is the second time in the last three years three Seminoles have been honored.
- Jake Elfein is the second straight Ohio State center (Taylor Decker, 2015) to earn Walter Camp First Team All-America honors.
- For the third straight year, the First Team punter comes from the University of Utah. Mitch Wishnowsky earns the honors in 2016 after two-time honoree Tom Hackett (2014 and 2015).
- Offensive lineman Cody O’Connell is the first Washington State player since 1989 (PK Jason Hanson) to earn Walter Camp First Team All-America honors.
- Defensive end Myles Garrett is the first Texas A&M player to repeat as a Walter Camp First Team All-American.
Players of the Week
Each week during the regular-season, the Walter Camp Foundation recognizes a National FBS Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week. In all, players from seven different conferences were recognized with the Atlantic Coast Conference having the most honorees with seven, followed by the Southeastern Conference with six. Six First and Second Team All-American members were recognized during the 2016 regular season, led by Player of the Year Lamar Jackson (Louisville), who was honored three times (Sept. 4, Sept. 11, and Nov. 6). In addition, First Team linebackers Jabrill Peppers (Michigan, Sept. 18) and Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt, Oct. 15) were recognized. Second Team All-Americans Deshuan Watson (Clemson, Oct. 1), Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama, Oct. 8) and Hunter Dimock (Utah, Oct. 13) also earned weekly honor.
Walter Camp Weekend is Jan. 12-14
The 2016 Walter Camp All-America team will be honored at the organization’s 50th annual national awards banquet, presented by KeyBank, on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven, CT. The Foundation will also recognize three individuals – Pro Football Hall of Famers Mike Ditka (Distinguished American) and Orlando Pace (Alumni Award) and former Florida State and NFL standout running back Warrick Dunn (Man of the Year) – with major awards.