First Team All-American
1. Jeremy Cash, Sr. Duke
Cash has been a revelation for the Devils since transferring over from Ohio State a couple of years ago. He’s been All-ACC in both of his seasons, First Team in 2013 and Second Team a year ago. Cash was NFL-ready in January, opting instead to play one final season in Durham. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, he’s the total package in a safety, a power puncher with the athleticism to contribute on blitzes and in pass defense. In a statistical representation of his diverse ability, Cash had 111 tackles, 10.5 stops for loss, 5.5 sacks, two sacks, seven pass breakups and four forced fumbles in 2014.
2. Karl Joseph, Sr. West Virginia
An absolute killer as a freshman, the 5-10, 197-pounder made 104 tackles with a sack, two picks and three forced fumbles, but he took a step back in 2013 and wasn’t in on as many big plays against the run, coming up with just 68 stops with 12 of those coming against Kansas State. He found his groove again last season finishing second on the team with 90 stops and 4.5 tackles for loss with three forced fumbles. An excellent hitter with great range to go along with three years of starting experience, he’s back at his All-America level. Wanted by a slew of SEC teams and some of the bigger Big 12 big boys, he was a great get for West Virginia, and now he’s about to finish up his career with a big year as the star of a loaded secondary.
3. Quin Blanding, Soph. Virginia
Blanding was as good as advertised in his debut out of Bayside (Va.) High School. Nah, he was actually a whole lot better. Blanding authored one of the great all-time seasons for a first-year Cavalier defender, leading the team and all FBS rookies with 123 tackles. The imposing 6-1, 215-pounder was fittingly named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, showcasing the maturity, work ethic and tackling skills to make this his first of multiple All-American appearances before heading to the NFL.
4. Sean Davis, Sr. Maryland
A safety for most of his career, now he’ll be tried out at times at corner after seeing a little time on the outside last season. The 6-1, 200-pound versatile star and explosive athlete led the team in 2013 with 102 tackles to go along with two picks and three broken up passes. Last year he did even more, finishing second on the team with 115 stops with a sack, four tackles for loss and eight broken up passes highlighted by a 17-tackle day against Wisconsin. A phenomenal hitter in the open field, now he’ll use his physical style to take over on the outside – but he can work anywhere.
5. Vonn Bell, Jr. Ohio State
6. Budda Baker, Soph. Washington
7. Michael Caputo, Sr. Wisconsin
8. Marcus Maye, Jr. Florida
9. Dante Barnett, Sr. Kansas State
10. Derrick Kindred, Sr. TCU
11. Deon Bush, Sr. Miami
12. Darian Thompson, Sr. Boise State
13. Jordan Lucas, Sr. Penn State
14. Nate Holley, Jr. Kent State
15. Jamal Adams, Soph. LSU
16. Kevin Byard, Sr. Middle Tennnessee
17. Adrian McDonald, Sr. Houston
18. Jalen Mills, Sr. LSU
19. Jabrill Peppers, Soph. Michigan
20. RJ Williamson, Sr. Michigan State