2017 CollegeFootballNews.com All-America Team: Defense

2017 CollegeFootballNews.com All-America Team: Defense


2017 CollegeFootballNews.com All-America Team: Defense


Who were the biggest offensive stars of the 2017 college football season? They’re the 2017 CFN All-America Defensive Players 

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Defensive Ends

1. Bradley Chubb, Jr. NC State

The nation’s best all-around defensive end, the 6-4, 275-pound Chubb was a marked man all year by every blocking scheme, and he still came up with 73 tackles with ten sacks and 25 tackles for loss.

2. Sutton Smith, Jr. Northern Illinois

The nation’s leader in sacks and tackles for loss, the light 6-0, 225-pound ultra-quick playmaker dominated throughout the season – including against Nebraska – with 56 tackles with 14 sacks, 28.5 tackles for loss, and two fumble recoveries for scores.

CFN Second-Team All-Americans

3. Clelin Ferrell Soph. Clemson

The best pass rusher on an NFL-caliber defensive front, the 6-5, 260-pounder made 62 tackles with a team-high 8.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss.

4. Rasheem Green, Jr. USC

With a few key injuries problems on the USC defensive front, Green stepped up with a team-high 11.5 tackles for loss with nine sacks and 39 tackles for the Pac-12 champ.

CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans

5. Nick Bosa, Soph. Ohio State
6. Anthony Wimbush, Sr. Ball State
7. Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, Sr. Arkansas State
8. Austin Bryant, Jr. Clemson
9. Raekwon Davis, Soph. Alabama
10. Joe Ostman, Sr. Central Michigan

Defensive Tackles

1. Christian Wilkins Jr. Clemson

Combining with Dexter Lawrence, Wilkins helped make the Tiger defensive interior rock, making 52 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. Lawrence might have a bigger NFL upside, but Wilkins was the anchor.

2. Hercules Mata’afa, Jr. Washington State

Whether a too-tough end, or a too-quick tackle, he overcame his tweeter 6-2, 252-pound size by always working, coming up with 43 tackles with 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.

CFN Second-Team All-Americans

3. Ed Oliver, Soph. Houston

While he didn’t quite put up the big season like he did as a freshman, he was still a dominant force making 69 tackles with 5.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss to go along with several plays behind the line. He’s a special star.

4. Maurice Hurst, Sr. Michigan

Rashan Gary is the ultra-quick rising star, but it was Hurst who was the veteran leader of dominant Wolverine defensive front. Hurst made his share of plays behind the line, too, with five sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss and 59 tackles.

CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans

5. Dexter Lawrence, Soph. Clemson
6. Harrison Phillips, Sr. Stanford
7. Vita Vea, Jr. Washington
8. Jeffery Simmons, Soph. Mississippi State
9. Rashan Gary, Soph. Michigan
10. Will Geary, Sr. Kansas State

Who were the top players in Preview 2017?  
OffenseDefense | Special Teams
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTs | OGs
CsDEs | DTs | LBs | CBs | Safs


1. Roquan Smith, Jr. Georgia

The star of the SEC champion defense, Smith might be an undersized 6-1, 225-pounder, but he was tough enough to come up with 113 tackles. His 73 solo stops would’ve led the team, and he also got behind the line with 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss.

2. Josey Jewell, Sr. Iowa

The linebacker every coach would love to have, he does the dirty work and gets in on everything, making 125 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. Also solid in pass coverage, he came up with two picks and 11 broken up passes.

CFN Second-Team All-Americans

3. Micah Kiser Sr. Virginia

One of the greatest tacklers in ACC history, he led the team with 134 stops with five sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss highlighted by his 19 tackles against Virginia Tech.

4. Tremaine Edmunds, Jr. Virginia Tech

The big 6-5, 250-pound veteran was the best player of a fantastic defensive front, making 102 tackles with 5.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans

5. Malik Jefferson, Jr. Texas
6. Khalil Hodge, Jr. Buffalo
7. Christian Sam, Jr. Arizona State
8. Joe Giles-Harris So. Duke
9. Joe Dineen, Jr. Kansas
10. Frank Ginda, Jr. San Jose State


1. Josh Jackson, Jr. Iowa

Great throughout the year, he made his name with three interceptions against Ohio State and two more against Wisconsin, taking both of them against the Badgers for scores. He was also second in the country in broken up passes.

2. Julian Love, Soph. Notre Dame

Nice as a freshman, he blew up as a sophomore with three interceptions and 17 broken up passes. Physical for his 5-11, 193-pound size, he was in on 62 tackles, including 14 against Navy and with six or more six times.

CFN Second-Team All-Americans

3. Denzel Ward, Jr. Ohio State

The next new Buckeye star defensive back, he made 37 tackles with 15 broken up passes and two picks,

4. Nick Nelson, Jr. Wisconsin

The Hawaii transfer didn’t pick off any passes, but he led the nation with 20 broken up passes. He also came up with 34 tackles and returned a punt for a score, with an interception in the Big Ten championship, blocked kicks against Michigan and Penn State, and he broke up five passes against Indiana.

CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans

5. Jalen Davis, Sr. Utah State
6. Darious Williams, Sr. UAB
7. Isaiah Oliver, Jr. Colorado
8. Jalen Young, Jr. Florida Atlantic
9. Parry Nickerson, Sr. Tulane
10. D.J. Reed, Jr. Kansas State


1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jr. Alabama

Ronnie Harrison led the secondary and the team in tackles, but Fitzpatrick was the star of a defense missing its normal alpha-male linebacker. Banged up for a stretch, he still finished with 52 tackles with an interception, six tackles for loss, and seven broken up passes.

2. Quin Blanding, Sr. Virginia

One of the best safeties in the nation over the last few years, he did it again, making 121 tackles with four interceptions – taking one for a score – with 17 against Virginia Tech and with ten or more stops six times.

CFN Second-Team All-Americans

3. DeShon Elliott, Jr. Texas

Almost the next-level safety prototype – Derwin James is a wee bit prettier to the NFL scouts – the 6-2, 210-pound Elliott became a more active tackler in the open field to go along with his six interceptions and two picks. The 63 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss weren’t bad, either.

4. Derwin James, Jr. Florida State

What was the 6-3, 215-pounder going to do once he came back from missing last year hurt? 84 tackles, two interceptions – taking one for a score – and 11 broken up passes. In his last ever college game, he hit ULM for 12 tackles to help ensure FSU bowl eligibility.

CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans

5. Justin Reid, Jr. Stanford
6. Armani Watts, Sr. Texas A&M
7. Jaquan Johnson, Jr. Miami
8. Ben DeLuca, Soph. Charlotte
9. Lukas Denis, Jr. Boston College
10. Andrew Wingard, Jr. Wyoming


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