Who are the best and brightest stars going into the 2021 season? The CFN Preseason All-America Team – the defense.
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It was crazy to come up with an All-America defense last year with the opt-outs coming by the minute and with so much uncertainty. The hope is to be able to highlight the best and the brightest players going into the season with our 2021 CFN All-America defense, and this year might be a wee bit clearer.
CFN 2021 All-America Defensive Ends, Edge Rushers
CFN 2021 First Team All-America Defensive Ends, Edge Rushers
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Soph. Oregon
To be totally honest, he’s gets just a wee bit more love on his reputation as the nation’s top recruit than on actual production, but he’s been very, very good in his first two seasons with 77 tackles, 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss.
He’s the prototype NFL hybrid pass rushing talent with room to get even bigger, and now he should be ready to take off as an unstoppable force before becoming a top ten overall draft pick in 2022.
Oregon Preview | Schedule
Drake Jackson, Jr. USC
From the 6-4, 255-pound size, to the toughness, to the speed, to the upside to grow into even more of an outside linebacker if needed, Jackson is what the NFL is looking for.
This year, he’s the star of a solid-looking USC defense with the pass rushing upside to flirt with double-digit sacks – he has 7.5 with 17 tackles for loss in his first two seasons.
USC Preview | Schedule
CFN 2021 Second Team All-America Defensive Ends, Edge Rushers
George Karlaftis, Jr. Purdue
After bursting onto the scene as a freshman with 7.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, he couldn’t get anything going in 2020. He went down with a leg injury, was hit with the coronavirus, and he only ended up seeing time in a few games, coming up with two sacks in his first two outings. Now the 6-4, 270-pounder is back and about to dominate.
Purdue Preview | Schedule
Zach Harrison, Jr. Ohio State
It’s his time to breakout and shine. A good part of the Ohio State puzzle up front over his first two seasons – coming up with 5.5 sacks and ten tackles for loss with 38 tackles – it’s asking for way, way too much for him to take that Year Three jump in from great to unstoppable like Chase Young did, but he’s going to be more of a menace for the rest of the Big Ten.
Ohio State Preview | Schedule
CFN 2021 Honorable Mention All-America Defensive Ends, Edge Rushers
5. Zachary Carter, Sr. Florida
6. Kingsley Enagbare, Sr. South Carolina
7. DeAngelo Malone, Sr. WKU
8. Tyreke Smith, Sr. Ohio State
9. Thomas Booker, Sr. Stanford
10. Myjai Sanders, Sr. Cincinnati
11. Cade Hall, Sr. San Jose State
12. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Soph. Washington