November 29, 2004

Rivals.com 2004 Freshman All-America Team

Each year, an increasing number of freshmen make an impact in college football. And this year was no exception as several rookies, such as Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson and Michigan quarterback Chad Henne, emerged as premier players nationally. Numerous others, meanwhile, became impact players for their respective teams.

With the regular season nearly complete, itís time to announce the 2004 Rivals.com Freshman All-America Team, which is headlined by Michigan and its three players who were selected to the first-team offense. Texas A&M, meanwhile, led all schools with four players making either the first or second team, while, along with the Wolverines, top-ranked USC, Tennessee and Illinois each had three players recognized.

Rivals.com 2004 Freshman All-America First Team
Offense Defense
QB: Chad Henne
6-2, 217, Michigan (Tr.)
Henne won the job in camp and then played like a veteran, throwing for 2,516 yards and 21 scores for the Big Ten champs.
DE: Wallace Gilberry
6-2, 251, Alabama (RS)
Unblockable at times, Wallace had 24 tackles -- 12 for losses -- and 6.5 sacks, while also forcing and recovering two fumbles.
RB: Adrian Peterson
6-2, 210, Oklahoma (Tr.)
Arguably the most celebrated newcomer in college football since Herschel Walker, Peterson has piled up 1,671 yards and 12 TDs.
DE: Quentin Groves
6-3, 243, Auburn (RS)
A devastating pass rusher, Groves has racked up 22 tackles, including 10 for losses, and 7.5 sacks for the unbeaten Tigers.
RB: Michael Hart
5-9, 194, Michigan (Tr.)
High school football's all-time leader in TDs, Hart made an easy transition to the college game with 1,372 yards and nine scores.
DT: Joseph Bryant
6-4, 316, Texas A&M (RS)
Size and strength made him tough to move and strong against the run. Bryant recorded 33 tackles, including 3.5 for losses.
WR: Dwayne Jarrett
6-5, 195, USC (Tr.)
With 45 catches for 694 yards and 12 touchdowns, the silky smooth Jarrett is helping Trojans fans forget about Mike Williams.
DT: Tony Jenkins
6-3, 293, Syracuse (RS)
A force in the middle of the line for the Orange, Jenkins recorded 43 tackles and added a blocked kick and a fumble recovery.
WR: Calvin Johnson
6-4, 225, Ga. Tech (Tr.)
Big, strong, fast and blessed with great hands, Johnson has 46 catches, a Tech freshman record, for 776 yards and six TDs.
LB: Brian Toal
6-1, 223, Boston Coll. (Tr.)
Moved into the starting lineup midway through the season and finished as the Eagles' second-leading tackler with 70 stops.
TE: Zach Miller
6-4, 250, Arizona State (Tr.)
With 51 catches for 524 yards and six touchdowns, Miller's numbers were as good as any tight end in the nation, regardless of class.
LB: Dan Connor
6-3, 218, Penn State (Tr.)
Came on late in the year for a good Nittany Lions defense and finished with 85 tackles, including 4.5 for losses, and a sack.
OT: Sam Baker
6-5, 290, USC (RS)
Baker has started every game for the top-ranked Trojans and is equally good as a run blocker or when protecting QB Matt Leinart.
LB: Brandon Siler
6-2, 230, Florida (Tr.)
Got better and better as the season progressed, finishing with 67 tackles, including 10 for losses, and two sacks.
OT: Jake Long
6-7, 335, Michigan (RS)
A nine-game starter, his run blocking and pass protection were major reasons why teammates Henne and Hart made this team.
S: Ko Simpson
6-2, 180, S. Carolina (Tr.)
A major factor in his first year in Columbia with 61 tackles, six picks, three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.
OG: Charlston Gray
6-3, 300, North Carolina (RS)
Started the final eight games for the ACC's second-best offense and allowed just one sack in more than 500 snaps.
S: Anthony Reddick
6-0, 188, Miami (Tr.)
Has emerged as one of the Canes' best tacklers, recording 52 stops in nine game. Also has a blocked punt and an interception.
OG: Martin O'Donnell
6-5, 290, Illinois (RS)
Had an oustanding rookie year, grading out at better than 90 percent and registering more than 60 knockdowns.
CB: Antoine Cason
6-1, 180, Arizona (Tr.)
Cason was a force for the Wildcats, recording 70 tackles, six pass break-ups, four interceptions and three forced fumbles.
C: Chris Yoder
6-3, 292, Texas A&M (RS)
Started every game for the Aggies and averaged 10 knockdowns per game, including a career high of 18 against Clemson.
CB: Roshaun Fellows
6-0, 185, Tennessee (RS)
Fellows, who has great cover skills, has team highs of three interceptions and 10 pass break-ups, as well as 34 tackles.
Special Teams
P: Chris MacDonald
6-4, 214, Arizona St. (RS)
A weapon on special teams for the Sun Devils, MacDonald averaged 43.1 yards per kick and had 15 punts downed inside the 20.
K: Travis Bell
6-0, 205, Georgia Tech (RS)
Missed his first field goal of the year before closing with 15 makes in a row, including a long of 47. Also made all 24 of his PATs.
PR: Ted Ginn Jr.
6-0, 170, Ohio State (Tr.)
An electrifying athlete with world-class speed, Ginn averaged 26.9 yards per punt return and brought four back for touchdowns.
KR: Prentiss Elliott
6-0, 175, Okla. State (Tr.)
Dangerous on special teams and offense, Elliott averaged 28 yards per kickoff return and scored five touchdowns in other ways.
Utility: Michael Bumpus
5-11, 174, Wash. St. (Tr.)
Did it all for the Cougars with 35 catches for 318 yards and a score and an 11.5-yard average on punt returns, including two TDs.


Rivals.com Freshman All-America Second Team
Offense Defense
QB: Erik Ainge
6-6, 200, Tennessee (Tr.)
Showed great poise and passed for 1,452 yards and 17 TDs before being sidelined by a shoulder injury in the Vols' ninth game.
DE: Lawrence Jackson
6-5, 270, USC (RS)
Jackson's quickness has caused problems for opposing teams all season. He's recorded 28 tackles, 10 for losses, and six sacks.
RB: Jamario Thomas
5-11, 195, North Texas (Tr.)
The nation's top rusher played in just nine games but surpassed 200 yards in six, racking up 1,709 yards and 17 touchdowns.
DE: Jason Jack
6-4, 270, Texas A&M (RS)
Quick off the edge but strong enough to play the run, Jack racked up 48 tackles, including six for losses, and two sacks.
RB: Marshawn Lynch
5-11, 200, Cal (Tr.)
In limited time, Lynch has been explosive. He's rushed for 578 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 9.2 yards per carry.
DT: Chris Norwell
6-7, 270, Illinois (RS)
Was a bright spot for a poor Illini defensive front, recording 40 tackles, three quarterback hurries and two pass break-ups.
WR: Todd Blythe
6-5, 210, Iowa State (RS)
A big target, Blythe was the Cylones' deep threat and recorded 36 catches for 791 yards and a school record nine touchdowns.
DT: Ricky Abren
6-2, 275, Kentucky (RS)
Powerful for his size, Abren had 26 tackles, including 4.5 for losses, and returned an interception for a score against Tennessee.
WR: Ernie Wheelwright
6-5, 210, Minnesota (RS)
Provided the run-oriented Gophers with a deep threat in the passing game, hauling in 30 passes for 654 yards and seven touchdowns.
LB: Jonathan Abbate
6-0, 247, Wake Forest (RS)
A tackling machine, Abbate led the Deacons and all ACC newcomers with 100 stops. Also forced two fumbles and had an interception.
TE: Martin Rucker
6-5, 240, Missouri (RS)
A good blocker with the speed to get down the field, Rucker finished his rookie season with 19 catches for 263 yards and four TDs.
LB: Jordon Dizon
6-0, 210, Colorado (Tr.)
Undersized for his position, Dizon used his quickness to rack up 77 tackles, including 5.5 for losses, for the Big 12 North champs.
OT: Barry Richardson
6-7, 350, Clemson (Tr.)
Richardson started the final seven games to become the first Tigers freshman to start at tackle since All-American Stacy Long in 1986.
LB: Josh Williams
6-1, 231, Arkansas St. (RS)
The nation's leader among freshmen with 110 tackles, he also forced four fumbles, had 10 stops for losses and three sacks.
OT: Matt Brim
6-6, 305, Wake Forest (RS)
Big and athletic, Brim started 10 games for the Demon Deacons and graded out at better than 80 percent for the season.
S: Japhus Brown
5-11, 193, Texas A&M (RS)
A physical, ball-hawking player, Brown piled up 58 tackles, recorded three interceptions and forced a fumble for the 7-4 Aggies.
OG: Will Arnold
6-5, 300, LSU (RS)
Arnold was a valuable reserve for a Tigers offensive line that paved the way for more than 200 rushing yards per game.
S: Justin Harrison
5-11, 205, Illinois (Tr.)
A physical player who was great in run support, Harrison racked up 79 tackles, which ranked second on his team, and an interception.
OG: Peter Graniello
6-7, 293, Arizona (RS)
Extremely versatile, Graniello started every game for the Wildcats and played at guard and tackle during the season.
CB: Jonathan Hefney
5-10, 172, Tennessee (Tr.)
Also a dangerous return man, Hefney has 53 tackles, 10 pass break-ups and an interception for the SEC East champs.
C: Adam Spieker
6-3, 305, Missouri (RS)
Big, physical blocker started all 11 games and graded out at 73 percent, which was second-best among Tigers offensive linemen.
CB: Darrelle Revis
6-0, 180, Pittsburgh (Tr.)
With 41 tackles, 11 pass break-ups and two interceptions, Revis has been a surprise for a Panthers team that is finishing strong.
Special Teams
P: Kenneth DeBauche
6-2, 212, Wisconsin (RS)
Despite several games in bad weather, he averaged 41.4 yards per punt and had 16 downed inside the 20-yard line.
K: Connor Barth
6-1, 175, N. Carolina (Tr.)
Made 13 of 17 field goals, including a 42-yarder that beat Miami. Also set a freshman school record with a 50-yard field goal.
PR: Danny Amendola
5-11, 174, Texas Tech (Tr.)
Returned 27 punts for an average of 13.3 yards per attempt, including a 90-yard scamper for a touchdown against Kansas State.
KR: Chris Davis
6-0, 175, Duke (Tr.)
A safety by trade, Davis averaged 25.8 yards on 20 kickoff returns and had a 94-yarder for a touchdown against Maryland.
Utility: Eddie Royal
5-10, 172, Va. Tech (Tr.)
Royal has 23 receptions for 389 yards and two TDs and averages 11.2 yards on punt returns and 27 yards on kick returns.

Action photos from Associated Press.


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