Seventy student-athletes in the NCAA Division I Football’s Group of Five FBS Conferences have been named to the 2020 College Sports Journal G5 All-America Team. As a reminder, the Group of Five FBS conferences include the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Conference USA (C-USA), Mid-American Conference (MAC), Mountain West Conference (MWC), and the Sun Belt Conference (SBC). The Group of Five schools also includes all FBS independents with the exception of Notre Dame.
Unlike other All-American teams, the CSJ’s honor’s squad is designed to be like a real team, capable of taking the field and competing in a game possibly against a Top 5 Power Five School such as Clemson or Alabama. It includes everything from quarterbacks who can run or pass, to long snappers and other special teams performers. The Super Seventy team also emphasizes players who have exhibited character and other team-oriented traits, not just lofty statistics, or talent.
Seventy players were selected as this is typically the travel roster for a traveling team.
Three players were selected as CSJ’s Preseason Players of the Year on Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. These awards went to SMU QB Shane Buechele as the Offense Player, Troy LB Carlton Martial as the Defensive Player, and Boise State kick returner Avery Williams as the Special Team Player.
Buechele was a newcomer to SMU last year after he was a graduate transfer from the Big 12’s Texas for his junior season. He helped the program win 10 games for the first time since 1984 and also set new single-season records for the Mustangs in passing touchdowns (34) and yardage (3,929) while also connecting on 62.7 percent of his attempts. Buechele also connected on 16 throws of 40 yards or more and led all quarterbacks in the AAC by averaging 302.2 passing yards a contest.
Martial last year became just the 12th player and first underclassman in the last 20 years at the FBS level to finish a season with at least 100 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and three interceptions. The junior linebacker closed the 2019 season with 126 tackles, the most by a Troy player since 2000, and 18.5 tackles for loss, the fifth most in a season in Troy history, and three picks. In 2018, he was named to a number of All-Freshman teams as he headed all freshmen in the Sun Belt in tackles and tackles for loss and finished second in sacks.
Williams returned two punts for touchdowns and became one of just two FBS players last fall to turn that trick in 2019. Both returns provided a much-needed spark that, in part, propelled Boise State to the Mountain West Conference championship once again. He led the Mountain West and finished seventh in the country with 13.2 yards per punt return and blocked two kicks on special teams as well. He also was one of the Broncos starting cornerbacks where he broke up four passes, made 39 tackles (27 solo), and had 1.5 tackles-for-loss.
Cincinnati and BYU led this preseason team with four student-athletes each. Three players were each selected from Air Force, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, SMU, and UCF. The AAC led the number of student-athletes from one conference with 21, while C-USA was second with 14 and the MWC was third with 13.
COLLEGE SPORTS JOURNAL 2020 PRESEASON GROUP OF FIVE ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
Offensive Player of the Year: Shane Buechele, QB, SMU, Sr.
Defensive Player of the Year: Carton Martial, LB, Troy, Jr.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Avery Williams, PR, Boise State, Sr.
See the full team below:
|QB||Zac Thomas||Appalachian State||Sun Belt||Sr.||6’1″||210|
|QB||Chris Robison||Florida Atlantic||C-USA||Jr.||6’1″||200|
|RB||Elijah Mitchell||Louisiana||Sun Belt||Sr.||5’11”||216|
|WR||Tre Walker||San Jose State||MWC||Jr.||5’11||180|
|WR||Jaelon Darden||North Texas||C-USA||Sr.||5’9″||172|
|WR||Warren Jackson||Colorado State||MWC||Sr.||6’6″||215|
|WR||C.J. Johnson||East Carolina||AAC||So.||6’2″||229|
|TE||Josh Pederson||Louisiana-Monroe||Sun Belt||Sr.||6’5″||232|
|OC||Danny Godlevske||Miami (OH)||MAC||Sr.||6’3″||296|
|OG||Nolan Laufenberg||Air Force||MWC||Jr.||6’3″||295|
|OT||Parker Ferguson||Air Force||MWC||Sr.||6’5″||290|
|OL||Sidy Sow||Eastern Michigan||MAC||Jr.||6’5″||324|
|OL||Tommy Doyle||Miami (OH)||MAC||Sr.||6’8″||326|
|DT||Dion Novil||North Texas||C-USA||Sr.||6’4″||315|
|DL||Keion White||Old Dominion||C-USA||Jr.||6’4″||267|
|LB||Carlton Martial||Troy||Sun Belt||Jr.||5’10”||216|
|LB||Troy Brown||Central Michigan||MAC||Jr.||6’2″||205|
|LB||Akileis Leroy||Florida Atlantic||C-USA||Sr.||5’11”||235|
|LB||Justin Rice||Fresno State||MWC||Sr.||6’2″||225|
|LB||Treshaun Hayward||Western Michigan||MAC||Sr.||6’1″||225|
|LB||Demonte Meeks||Air Force||MWC||Jr.||6’1″||235|
|CB||Shaun Jolly||Appalachian State||Sun Belt||Jr.||5’9″||175|
|S||Dwayne Johnson, Jr.||San Diego State||MWC||Sr.||6’2″||215|
|DB||Corey Straughter||Louisiana-Monroe||Sun Belt||Sr.||5’10”||180|
|DB||Kekaula Kaniho||Boise State||MWC||Sr.||5’10”||185|
|DB||Reed Blankenship||Middle Tennessee||C-USA||Sr.||6’1″||196|
|DB||Amechi Uzodinma II||Ball State||MAC||Jr.||5’11”||182|
|DB||Kaleb Ford-Dement||Old Dominion||C-USA||Jr.||5’11”||180|
|K||Jake Verity||East Carolina||AAC||Sr.||6’1″||197|
|K||Matthew Trickett||Kent State||MAC||Jr.||6’0″||191|
|P||John Haggerty||Western Kentucky||C-USA||Sr.||6’5″||230|
|P||Ryan Stonehouse||Colorado State||MWC||Sr.||5’11”||180|
|PR||Avery Williams||Boise State||MWC||Sr.||5’9″||188|
|KR||Jaylond Adams||Southern Miss||C-USA||Sr.||5’10”||180|
|LS||Jonathan Sullivan||Florida Atlantic||C-USA||Sr.||6’1″||210|
|LS||Turner Bernard||San Diego State||MWC||Sr.||6’1″||225|
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football is the Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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