By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State defensive end Sam Ukwuachu made the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, which was announced Monday.
Ukwuachu, a redshirt freshman from Pearland, Texas, finished third on the team with 4.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss. He was tied for first with three fumble recoveries and 12th with 35 tackles.
Mountain West Freshman of the Year and Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams and Colorado State linebacker Cory James also made the FWAA team from the Mountain West. Incoming Mountain West teams Utah State (linebacker Kyler Fackrell) and San Jose State (kicker Austin Lopez) also were represented on the team.
2012 FWAA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA TEAM
QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (6-1, 200, Kerrville, Texas)
RB • Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech (6-0, 215, Strong, Ark.)
RB • Todd Gurley, Georgia (6-1, 218, Tarboro, N.C.)
WR Davante Adams, Fresno State (6-2, 200, Palo Alto, Calif.)
WR • Amari Cooper, Alabama (6-1, 198, Miami, Fla.)
WR J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State (5-10, 185, Phenix City, Ala.)
TE • Devin Funchess, Michigan (6-5, 229, Farmington Hills, Mich.)
OL Jack Allen, Michigan State (6-1, 295, Hinsdale, Ill.)
OL Austin Blythe, Iowa (6-3, 275, Williamsburg, Iowa)
OL Jake Brendel, UCLA (6-4, 295, Plano, Texas)
OL Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech (6-5, 303, Rockdale, Texas)
OL Parker Ehinger, Cincinnati (6-7, 290, Rockford, Mich.)
OL Tyler Johnstone, Oregon (6-6, 292, Chandler, Ariz.)
DL Deion Barnes, Penn State (6-4, 246, Philadelphia, Pa.)
DL • Devonte Fields, TCU (6-4, 240, Arlington, Texas)
DL Samuel Ukwuachu, Boise State (6-4, 222, Pearland, Texas)
DL • Leonard Wllliams, USC (6-5, 270, Daytona Beach, Fla.)
LB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State (6-5, 236, Mesa, Ariz.)
LB Cory James, Colorado State (6-0, 235, Del Rio, Texas)
LB • Tyler Matakevich, Temple (6-1, 220, Stratford, Conn.)
LB Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (5-11, 203, Loganville, Ga.)
DB Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee (5-11, 229, Lithonia, Ga.)
DB • Ronald Darby, Florida State (5-11, 189, Oxon Hill, Md.)
DB • KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame (5-11, 182, Everett, Wash.)
DB • Trevon Stewart, Houston (5-9, 183, Patterson, La.)
P • Tyler Williams, Marshall (6-0, 195, Fort Wayne, Ind.)
K • Austin Lopez, San Jose State (6-0, 170, Euless, Texas)
PR • Jaime Wilson, Western Michigan (5-11, 196, Belle Glade, Fla.)
KR • Duke Johnson, Miami (5-9, 188, Miami, Fla.)
AP • Stefon Diggs, Maryland (6-1, 185, Gaithersburg, Md.)
Urban Meyer, Ohio State
• Denotes true freshman
The Boise State football team will finish in the top 20 of the final polls for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons when they’re released late tonight.
But where will the Broncos land?
In the Associated Press Top 25, the Broncos entered the bowls at No. 20. They likely will jump bowl losers No. 15 Oregon State, No. 16 Northern Illinois, No. 17 UCLA and No. 19 Michigan. But they also will get jumped by No. 22 Louisville (beat Florida) and possibly by No. 21 Northwestern (beat Mississippi State). I’d predict the Broncos finish at No. 18.
In the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the Broncos were No. 15. They likely will jump No. 14 Oregon State and could pass No. 11 Oklahoma. The only team that looks like a threat to jump Boise State is No. 18 Louisville. I’d predict a final ranking of No. 15, but the Broncos can get to 14 if they pass Oklahoma, which was blown out by Texas A&M.
This will be the lowest-ranked Boise State team since the 2007 squad that finished 10-3 and unranked. However, this also will be the first Broncos team with multiple losses to finish in the Top 25.
The Broncos went 11-2, finished in a three-way tie for the Mountain West title with Fresno State and San Diego State and beat Washington in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. The Broncos were the Mountain West’s only bowl winner.
Here’s how Boise State has fared in the final polls since its first Top 25 season, in 2002. This year’s polls should be out before midnight:
2002—15 (AP)—12 (USA)
The NCAA rankings are updated through Saturday’s games. Here are some Boise State highlights:
— The defense is 12th in total defense (315.6 yards per game), eighth in scoring defense (15.8 points per game), sixth in pass defense (169.5 ypg), 46th in rushing defense (146.2 ypg), fifth in pass-efficiency defense (101.35), 11th in sacks (2.9 per game) and fourth in takeaways (36; Oregon led with 40). Despite all that, Boise State was 80th in third-down defense — an area that likely will be addressed in the offseason.
— The offense is 68th in total offense (391.3 ypg), 54th in scoring (30.2 ppg), 55th in rushing (168.2 ypg), 70th in passing (223.2 ypg), 38th in pass efficiency (141.85) and sixth in sacks allowed (.77 per game).
— The Broncos are fifth in kickoff returns at 26.0 yards per return and third in turnover margin at plus-1.54 per game. They were 108th in net punting at 34.1 yards per punt.
— Individually, quarterback Joe Southwick’s strong finish elevated him to 38th in pass efficiency (141.78). Chris Potter is 20th in punt returns (11.8 yards per return). Demarcus Lawrence is tied for 18th in sacks (.86 per game).
I was off last week, so not sure how much of this we reported, but interesting to see some of the names hired by Bryan Harsin at Arkansas State: former Boise State strength coach Jeff Pitman (strength coach), former special teams coach Kent Riddle (assistant head coach, tight ends, special teams), former quarterback Bush Hamdan (offensive assistant, position TBA) and former tailback Lee Marks (assistant strength coach). Offensive line coach Brad Bedell was an intern on Dan Hawkins’ staff at Colorado.
The Touchdown Club of Columbus named Southwick one of its players to watch for 2013. The club has made a habit of recognizing Boise State players in recent years.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein won the Touchdown Club’s Kellen Moore Award.