2020 College Sports Journal Group of Five Super Seventy Preseason All-American Team

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. 

SMU QB Shane Buechele (Courtesy of SMU Athletics)

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.

Troy LB Carlton Martial (Courtesy of Troy Athletics)

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. 

Boise State PR/CB Avery Williams (Courtesy of Boise State Athletics)

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.


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:

QBShane BuecheleSMUAACSr.6’1″207
QBZac ThomasAppalachian StateSun BeltSr.6’1″210
QBBrady WhiteMemphisAACSr.6’3″215
QBChris RobisonFlorida AtlanticC-USAJr.6’1″200
RBJaret PattersonBuffaloMACJr.5’9″195
RBKenneth GainwellMemphisAACSo.5’11”191
RBElijah MitchellLouisianaSun BeltSr.5’11”216
RBXazavian ValladayWyomingMWCJr.6’0″196
RBBrenden KnoxMarshallC-USAJr.6’0″220
APAmare JonesTulaneAACJr.5’11”190
WRTre WalkerSan Jose StateMWCJr.5’11180
WRJaelon DardenNorth TexasC-USASr.5’9″172
WRWarren JacksonColorado StateMWCSr.6’6″215
WRDamonte Coxie MemphisAACSr.6’3″197
WRC.J. Johnson East CarolinaAACSo.6’2″229
WRAustin WatkinsUABC-USASr.6’3″205
WRMarquez StevensonHoustonAACSr.6’0″190
TEMatt BushmanBYUIndependentSr.6’5″240
TEJosh PedersonLouisiana-MonroeSun BeltSr.6’5″232
TEKylen GransonSMUAACSr.6’3″235
OCJames EmpeyBYUIndependentSr.6’4″303
OCDanny GodlevskeMiami (OH)MACSr.6’3″296
OGCole SchneiderUCFAACJr.6’4″312
OGNolan LaufenbergAir ForceMWCJr.6’3″295
OTJames HudsonCincinnatiAACJr.6’5″308
OTParker Ferguson Air ForceMWCSr.6’5″290
OLKayode AwosikaBuffaloMACSr.6’5″305
OLSidy SowEastern MichiganMACJr.6’5″324
OLBrady ChristensenBYUIndependentSr.6’6″300
OLTommy DoyleMiami (OH)MACSr.6’8″326
OLJaylon ThomasSMUAACJr.6’3″312
DEJordan SmithUABC-USAJr.6’7″250
DETaylor RigginsBuffaloMACSr.6’2″255
DTKhyiris TongaBYUIndependentSr.6’4″322
DTDion NovilNorth TexasC-USASr.6’4″315
DLElijah PonderCincinnatiAACSr.6’3″275
DLKeion WhiteOld DominionC-USAJr.6’4″267
DLDom PetersonNevadaMWCJr.6’0″295
DLKwabena BonsuArmyIndependentJr.6’4″280
DLIfeanyi MaijehTempleAACJr.6’2″285
LBCarlton MartialTroySun BeltJr.5’10”216
LBTroy BrownCentral MichiganMACJr.6’2″205
LBZaven CollinsTulsaAACJr.6’4″256
LBAkileis LeroyFlorida AtlanticC-USASr.5’11”235
LBJustin RiceFresno StateMWCSr.6’2″225
LBTavante BeckettMarshallC-USASr.5’10”209
LBTreshaun HaywardWestern MichiganMACSr.6’1″225
LBDiego FagotNavyAACJr.6’3″240
LBPatrick JohnsonTulaneAACSr. 6’3″250
LBDemonte MeeksAir ForceMWCJr.6’1″235
CBShaun JollyAppalachian StateSun BeltJr.5’9″175
CBAhmad GardnerCincinnatiAACSo.6’2″185
SDwayne Johnson, Jr.San Diego StateMWCSr.6’2″215
SDarrick ForrestCincinnatiAACSr.6″0″200
DBCorey StraughterLouisiana-MonroeSun BeltSr.5’10”180
DBKekaula KanihoBoise StateMWCSr.5’10”185
DBRichie GrantUCFAACSr.6’0″194
DBReed BlankenshipMiddle TennesseeC-USASr.6’1″196
DBAmechi Uzodinma IIBall StateMACJr.5’11”182
DBKaleb Ford-DementOld DominionC-USAJr.5’11”180
KJake VerityEast CarolinaAACSr.6’1″197
KMatthew TrickettKent StateMACJr.6’0″191
PJohn HaggertyWestern KentuckyC-USASr.6’5″230
PRyan StonehouseColorado StateMWCSr.5’11”180
PRAvery WilliamsBoise StateMWCSr.5’9″188
PROtis AndersonUCFAACSr.5’11”174
KRJaylond AdamsSouthern MissC-USASr.5’10”180
KRShedro LouisLibertyIndependentSo.5’8″175
LSJonathan SullivanFlorida AtlanticC-USASr.6’1″210
LSTurner BernardSan Diego StateMWCSr.6’1″225