December 10, 2002

2002 Freshman All-America Team

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

Texas, Virginia and USC, who each finished with Top 15 recruiting classes in 2002, led the way with two 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 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 last year.

Below is a look at the rookies who played like veterans this fall: Freshman All-American Team - Offense
Brad Smith - FAAQB: Brad Smith
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
6-5 / 210 / TFr / Tampa, Fla.
Budding star shattered USC and Pac-10 frosh receiving records.
Larry Fitzgerald - FAAWR: Larry Fitzgerald
6-3 / 210 / TFr / Minneapolis, Minn.
Big time playmaker caught 64 passes for 917 yards and 11 TDs.
Heath Miller - FAATE: Heath Miller
6-5 / 256 / RFr / Swords Creek, Va.
Prep quarterback caught an ACC record nine touchdown passes.
Richie Incognito - FAAOL: Richie Incognito
6-3 / 305 / RFr / Glendale, Ariz.
Powerful lineman + a nasty disposition = pancake machine.
Jonathan Scott - FAAOL: Jonathan Scott
6-7 / 295 / RFr / Dallas, Texas
A future first-rounder who came on strong late in the season.
Winston Justice - FAAOL: Winston Justice
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
6-9 / 347 / TFr / Ellenwood, Ga.
Team's best-grading lineman in wins over Alabama and Ole Miss.
Andrew Whitworth - FAAOL: Andrew Whitworth
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 Freshman All-American Team - Defense
Loren Howard - FAADL: Loren Howard
6-4 / 270 / TFr / Scottsdale, Ariz.
Led all freshmen defensive linemen with 81 tackles.
Haloti Ngata - FAADL: Haloti Ngata
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
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
6-4 / 219 / RFr / Akron, Ohio
Was second in the nation among freshmen with seven sacks.
Darryl Blackstock - FAALB: Darryl Blackstock
6-4 / 226 / TFr / Newport News, Va.
Super playmaker had 103 tackles, 20 QB hurries and 10 sacks.
John Kerr - FAALB: John Kerr
6-0 / 240 / TFr / Cleveland, Ohio
Led all freshmen with 114 tackles, now transferring.
Spencer Havner - FAALB: Spencer Havner
6-4 / 232 / RFr / Nevada City, Calif.
Playmaker made 90 tackles (12 for loss), three INTs and two sacks.
Justin Miller - FAADB: Justin Miller
5-11 / 180 / TFr / Owensboro, Ky.
Led the ACC and all freshmen with seven interceptions.
O.C. Collins - FAADB: O.C. Collins
6-0 / 175 / TFr / Dacula, Ga.
Big hitter finished the year with 75 tackles and three interceptions.
Eric Bassey - FAADB: Eric Bassey
6-1 / 188 / RFr / Garland, Texas
Totaled 58 tackles (eight for loss), two INTs and two sacks.
Antwan Allen - FAADB: Antwan Allen
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 Freshman All-American Team - Special Teams
David Abdul - FAAK: David Abdul
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
6-1 / 190 / TFr / Lilburn, Ga.
Averaged 43.8 yards per punt with a long kick of 70 yards.
Broderick Clark - FAARS: Broderick Clark
5-11 / 185 / RFr / Birmingham, Ala.
Led the nation with nearly 32 yards per kickoff return and two TDs. 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 Freshman All-America Team was selected by editors Will Woods ( and Bobby Burton ( Woods is the Senior Editor and college football columnist for

Photos courtesy AP

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