With a lot of nominees on both sides of the ball, and at multiple positions, we’ve decided to break up our All-American coverage into two separate articles. One dedicated for the offensive side of the ball, and another dedicated to defense and special teams. If you haven’t already checked out our coverage of the All-Americans on offense you should! Here, we’ll discuss the All-Americans on defense and special teams.
DL: DE MOHAMMAD DMOUR, FLA; DT BILL MCALLISTER, CLEM; DT BARKIVIOUS OSWALD, FLA
The big boys! The guys who fight it out in the trenches! Look, the defensive line class is seemingly improving with each passing season. This season, nine nominees were put on the ballot. Of those nine, two of them were defensive tackles, the same two that were named All-American. The defensive line has been rarely considered a glamorous position, but over the last couple of seasons it has gained traction. Mohammad Dmour has earned yet another All-American honor while McAllister and Oswald both represent the future of the CFSL. Defensive tackle is slowly becoming far more coveted by defenses, as both McAllister and Oswald were immense disruptors. Not to mention, Oswald and Dmour were on the same defensive line and contributed to each other’s success.
LB: Isaiah Fowler, OSU; Cletus Castle, MICH; Mark Calloway, AUB
Another deep linebacker class for All-American this season and deservedly so. Texas’ Howard Cook, Florida’s Wyatt King, USC’s Benjamin Kaye, and Notre Dame’s Shoto Pence were among the candidates. And in fairness, they were all very impressive, but not to the level of Fowler, Castle, and Calloway. Fowler and Castle each tallied 90 tackles this season and it’s interesting because they’re from rival schools. Calloway has been a bon-a-fide stud in the CFSL for the vast majority of his career and it’s been extremely impressive to see him work in the backfield and in the passing game, not just as as tackler.
CB: jUAN cANTU, fsu; jOHNATHON GREENE, USC; TOM PENCE, FSU
A lot of corners found themselves nominated and rightfully so. Whether or not they were generating turnovers, points, or were being physical and aggressive. Some corners had exceedingly high tackle counts, as they came rushing downhill to make plays in the opposition’s backfield. But these three were the best among the group. Johnathon Greene had three interceptions in just one game, and added a fourth later in the season. Juan Cantu led the CFSL in interceptions this season while his partner, Tom Pence, recorded 56 tackles. 56! That’s the most among this group of nominees, and I believe it’s the most among corners in a season. An impressive grouping to be sure.
S: Isaac Krout, CLEM; OLLIE P. PETERS, AUB; PEYTON MYLES, USC
This safety grouping is exceedingly talented. Several young safeties, among them being Krout and Myles who burst onto the scene late in the season. Krout led the nominees in tackles with 79 while Myles was an overall stud for the Trojans. But it was Ollie P. Peters’ farewell tour you could say. Four interceptions from the senior helped him be named the all-time interceptions leader this season. Not to mention, Peters is in the top five in a few other statistical categories on defense, and goes down in CFSL history as one of the best to ever play the game. Krout, Myles, and the rest of the nominees will have to work hard in order to earn that same distinction.
K: FRIAR COOK, AUB
The kicking game this season started off…awkwardly you could say. However, several kickers found their groove and some never lost it. Justin Case of Oregon was perfect, but was asked to kick just eight field goals this season. Clemson’s Fraser Flores was also perfect, but with one less kick from distance. Casius Castle of Michigan and LSU’s Remy Boudreaux were exceptionally efficient, their volume was slightly less than the CFSL two time All-American at the position. Cook was the only candidate with 20 field goal attempts this season, and missed two of them. That’s three misses in just two seasons, and is an exceptional performance by the Auburn senior.
KR: tOM pENCE, fsu & scooby lewis, tex
This is a rare treat. Normally, only one player is named All-American as a kick returner, but this season, the voters managed to generate a tie between Tom Pence and Scooby Lewis, making them both All-Americans in the return game. Joining them in the nomination was LSU’s Colt Youngblood, Notre Dame’s Dijon Swann, and Alabama’s Lamar Fant. Only Pence, Lewis, and Swann were able to force kick returns for touchdowns this season, and Pence was the first with Lewis following not long after. Lewis’ 632 kick return yards and the kick return touchdown are difficult to ignore, as was Pence’s 31.9 yards per return. With Pence, Lewis, and Swann graduating, it will be interesting to see who steps up to earn the All-American title as a returner next season.