Every December, the Associated Press releases their three seperate All-American teams. And every December, since 1981, the Kansas Jayhawks have come up empty. Even then, our moment of glory of the past 30 years, it was only placekicker Bruce Kallmeyer who received the honor, hardly a game-changing performance on a Big 8/12 Championship caliber team. To find an offensive/defensive player last named an All-American in football, go back to 1973 when QB David Jaynes was named to the team.
So, it has been 34 years since we last had a position player be named to an All-American team. This year, we had three.
Better yet, two (CB Aqib Talib and OT Anthony Collins) were first-teamers. They were the two best players on this team all season long, and both will be first round picks in the NFL. They were both simple, 2 star recruits coming out of high school, choosing Kansas because of the lack of bodies between them and a starting spot. They have as much talent as anyone else in the country at their position, and they proved it throughout the year. I will be doing a special post on AC, who was my favorite player all year long, once the Orange Bowl is played and done. Let's just say, my desktop background has been of him for quite some time now.
Senior DT James McClinton was a second-team All-American, hardly a slight considering the two players in front of him. Both Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis, of LSU and USC respectively, are potential Top 10 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, sure-fire first rounders, and deserve the selection. And while McClinton may never quite make it in the NFL, with the same height concerns brought up that led recruiters to claim he "was too small for Big 12 play", he deserves to. He wasn't completely healthy for the last half of Big 12 play, since the Colorado or Texas A&M game, and wasn't near his self against Moo. Injuries are a game of football, I understand, but give us a healthy McClinton and a healthy Collins and we can beat anybody in the country.
Congratulations to all three, hopefully we see two of them back in Lawrence next season. Both Talib and Collins have been rumored to be leaving college early for the riches and fame of the NFL, but with how strong our team is going to be, and one more year of eligibility left, those two just might return.