December 10, 2002

2002 Rivals.com Freshman All-America Team

College football’s regular season is in the books, and it's time to unveil the 2002 Rivals.com Freshman All-America Team.

Texas, Virginia and USC, who each finished with Top 15 recruiting classes in 2002, led the way with two Rivals.com First Team Freshman All-Americans apiece.

Among the 15 true freshmen on the All-American team, 12 were rated either five-star or four-star prospects by Rivals.com out of high school last year. Rivals rated Freshman Offensive Player of the Year Maurice Clarett five stars, while Defensive Player of the Year Darryl Blackstock was a four-star prospect. Haloti Ngata and Rodrique Wright, the two defensive tackles on the Freshman All-America team, were the No. 1 and No. 2-rated prep defensive tackle prospects in the country by Rivals.com last year.

Below is a look at the rookies who played like veterans this fall:

Rivals.com Freshman All-American Team - Offense
Brad Smith - FAAQB: Brad Smith
Missouri
6-3 / 200 / RFr / Youngstown, Ohio
Just the 2nd player ever to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000. 
Maurice Clarett - FAARB: Maurice Clarett
Ohio State
6-0 / 230 / TFr / Youngstown, Ohio
Smashed the Buckeyes' freshman rushing record with 1,190 yards. 
TA McLendon - FAARB: T.A. McLendon
NC State
5-11 / 214 / TFr / Albemarle, N.C.
Led the Pack with 1,083 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Mike Williams - FAAWR: Mike Williams
USC
6-5 / 210 / TFr / Tampa, Fla.
Budding star shattered USC and Pac-10 frosh receiving records.
Larry Fitzgerald - FAAWR: Larry Fitzgerald
Pittsburgh
6-3 / 210 / TFr / Minneapolis, Minn.
Big time playmaker caught 64 passes for 917 yards and 11 TDs.
Heath Miller - FAATE: Heath Miller
Virginia
6-5 / 256 / RFr / Swords Creek, Va.
Prep quarterback caught an ACC record nine touchdown passes.
Richie Incognito - FAAOL: Richie Incognito
Nebraska
6-3 / 305 / RFr / Glendale, Ariz.
Powerful lineman + a nasty disposition = pancake machine.
Jonathan Scott - FAAOL: Jonathan Scott
Texas
6-7 / 295 / RFr / Dallas, Texas
A future first-rounder who came on strong late in the season.
Winston Justice - FAAOL: Winston Justice
USC
6-5 / 305 / TFr / Long Beach, Calif.
Didn't play football until the 10th grade, but was dominant all year.
Marcus McNeil - FAAOL: Marcus McNeil
Auburn
6-9 / 347 / TFr / Ellenwood, Ga.
Team's best-grading lineman in wins over Alabama and Ole Miss.
Andrew Whitworth - FAAOL: Andrew Whitworth
LSU
6-7 / 320 / RFr / West Monroe, La.
Was the most consistent player on an experienced Tiger OL.

Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Maurice Clarett

Rivals.com Freshman All-American Team - Defense
Loren Howard - FAADL: Loren Howard
Northwestern
6-4 / 270 / TFr / Scottsdale, Ariz.
Led all freshmen defensive linemen with 81 tackles.
Haloti Ngata - FAADL: Haloti Ngata
Oregon
6-4 / 333 / TFr / Salt Lake City, Utah
Freak athlete totaled 39 tackles (six for loss) and 3.5 sacks.
Rodrique Wright - FAADL: Rodrique Wright
Texas
6-5 / 320 / TFr / Houston, Texas
Totaled 59 tackles (13 for loss), 12 QB pressures and 4.5 sacks.
Charlton Keith - FAA DL: Charlton Keith
Minnesota
6-4 / 219 / RFr / Akron, Ohio
Was second in the nation among freshmen with seven sacks.
Darryl Blackstock - FAALB: Darryl Blackstock
Virginia
6-4 / 226 / TFr / Newport News, Va.
Super playmaker had 103 tackles, 20 QB hurries and 10 sacks.
John Kerr - FAALB: John Kerr
Indiana
6-0 / 240 / TFr / Cleveland, Ohio
Led all freshmen with 114 tackles, now transferring.
Spencer Havner - FAALB: Spencer Havner
UCLA
6-4 / 232 / RFr / Nevada City, Calif.
Playmaker made 90 tackles (12 for loss), three INTs and two sacks.
Justin Miller - FAADB: Justin Miller
Clemson
5-11 / 180 / TFr / Owensboro, Ky.
Led the ACC and all freshmen with seven interceptions.
O.C. Collins - FAADB: O.C. Collins
Memphis
6-0 / 175 / TFr / Dacula, Ga.
Big hitter finished the year with 75 tackles and three interceptions.
Eric Bassey - FAADB: Eric Bassey
Oklahoma
6-1 / 188 / RFr / Garland, Texas
Totaled 58 tackles (eight for loss), two INTs and two sacks.
Antwan Allen - FAADB: Antwan Allen
Iowa
5-10 / 167 / RFr / Tampa, Fla.
Finished with 57 tackles, nine PBUs, two interceptions and a sack.

Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Darryl Blackstock

Rivals.com Freshman All-American Team - Special Teams
David Abdul - FAAK: David Abdul
Pittsburgh
5-10 / 175 / TFr / Hartville, Ohio
Was 9 of 17 on FGs including a 42-yard game winner vs. BC.
Greg Johnson - FAAP: Greg Johnson
Vanderbilt
6-1 / 190 / TFr / Lilburn, Ga.
Averaged 43.8 yards per punt with a long kick of 70 yards.
Broderick Clark - FAARS: Broderick Clark
Louisville
5-11 / 185 / RFr / Birmingham, Ala.
Led the nation with nearly 32 yards per kickoff return and two TDs.

Rivals.com Freshman All-American Team - Hon. Mention
QB: Brett Basanez, Northwestern; Paul Pinegar, Fresno State; Darrell Hackney, UAB; Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson.
RB: Terry Caulley, UConn; Tyler Ebell, UCLA; DonTrell Moore, New Mexico; Taurean Henderson, Texas Tech; Lonta Hobbs, TCU.
WR: Jovon Bouknight, Wyoming; Jonathon Orr, Wisconsin.
TE: Matt Herrian, Nebraska; Cooper Wallace, Auburn.
OL: Mike McCloskey, UCLA; D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia; Mike Degory, Florida; Chaz White, Arizona State; Adam Stenavich, Michigan; Tre Stallings, Ole Miss; Jimmy Martin, Virginia Tech; Kelvin Chaisson, Oklahoma.
DL: Nick Leaders, Iowa State; Eric Henderson; Georgia Tech; Bryan Pickryl, Texas; Darrius Swain, Georgia; Jonathan Lewis, Virginia Tech; T.J. Jackson, Auburn; Nick Johnson, Arizona State.
LB: Anthony Cannon, Tulane; Chris Moore, East Carolina; Freddie Roach, Alabama; Doug Justice, North Carolina; Lance Laury, South Carolina; D'Qwell Jackson, Maryland.
DB: Jaxson Appel, Texas A&M; Tim Jennings, Georgia; Michael Huff, Texas; Aaron Gipson, Oregon; Jovon Johnson, Iowa; Darrell Brooks, Arizona; Darren Williams, Mississippi State.
K: Travis Mayle, Kent State, Taylor Begley, Kentucky.
P: Tom Malone, USC.
RS: Jeremy Bloom, Colorado; Leon Washington, Florida State; Ed Hinkel, Iowa.


The Rivals.com Freshman All-America Team was selected by Rivals.com editors Will Woods (will@rivals.com) and Bobby Burton (bobby@rivals.com). Woods is the Senior Editor and college football columnist for Rivals.com.

Photos courtesy AP



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