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The Arkansas running back and two-time He is man Trophy runner-up was one of four players voted to The Associated Press All-American team for the second consecutive season.
Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow joins McFadden in the backfield along with Central Florida’s Kevin Smith, who leads the nation with 2,448 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns. Smith is the first All-American from UCF, which began playing major college football in 1996.
Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, who finished fourth in the Heisman voting, was voted to the second team. Hawaii’s Colt Brennan, third in the Heisman voting, was the third-team quarterback.
McFadden set school records with 1,725 yards rushing and 2,172 all-purpose yards, breaking the marks he set last year. He scored 16 touchdowns and threw four TD passes, working as a quarterback out of Arkansas’ shotgun Wild Hog formation.
The junior has said he’ll decide whether to return to school for his senior season after the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1 against Daniel and Missouri, though he may have given a hint as to which was he was leaning after the Heisman ceremony when he said, “I think my quarterbacking days are about to come to a halt.”
Kansas State receiver Jordy Nelson went from walk-on to All-American.
Nelson didn’t get a scholarship after playing at Riley County High School, 20 miles from Kansas State’s Manhattan campus. He redshirted in 2003 and was a defensive back in 2004, again not seeing any game time.
He moved to receiver in 2005 and started all 11 games, catching 45 passes for 669 yards. In 2006, he battled injuries and caught 39 passes for 547 yards.
This season, Nelson became a star. He ranked second in the country in both receptions (122) and receiving yards (1,606) behind fellow All-American Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech.
“I couldn’t envision this going into my senior year,” Nelson said. “Week after week the numbers kept coming. I have to give a lot of credit to the coaches. It surprises me what’s happened.”
Crabtree set NCAA freshman records with 125 receptions for 1,861 yards and 21 touchdowns. Fellow redshirt freshmen Jeremy Maclin from Missouri (all-purpose player) and Arizona State kicker Thomas Weber also made the first team.
The last freshman to be a first-team AP All-American was Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson in 2004.
2007 all American football team – FIRST TEAM
Quarterback — Tim Tebow, sophomore, 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Florida.
Running backs — Darren McFadden, junior, 6-2, 215, Arkansas; Kevin Smith, junior, 6-1, 211, Central Florida.
Wide receivers — Michael Crabtree, freshman, 6-3, 208, Texas Tech; Jordy Nelson, senior, 6-2, 213, Kansas State.
Tackles — Jake Long, senior, 6-7, 313, Michigan; Anthony Collins, junior, 6-5, 320, Kansas.
Guards — Duke Robinson, junior, 6-5, 330, Oklahoma; Martin O’Donnell, senior, 6-5, 305, Illinois.
Center — Steve Justice, senior, 6-4, 284, Wake Forest.
Tight end — Martin Rucker, senior, 6-6, 255, Missouri.
All-purpose player — Jeremy Maclin, freshman, 6-1, 185, Missouri.
Kicker — Thomas Weber, freshman, 6-1, 202, Arizona State.
Defense Ends — Chris Long, senior, 6-4, 280, Virginia; George Selvie, sophomore, 6-4, 242, South Florida.
Tackles — Glenn Dorsey, senior, 6-2, 303, LSU; Sedrick Ellis, senior, 6-2, 305, Southern California.
Linebackers — Dan Connor, senior, 6-3, 233, Penn State; James Laurinaitis, junior, 6-3, 240, Ohio State; Jordan Dizon, senior, 6-0, 220, Colorado.
Cornerbacks — Aqib Talib, junior, 6-2, 195, Kansas; Antoine Cason, senior, 6-0, 185, Arizona.
Safeties — Craig Steltz, senior, 6-2, 209, LSU; Jamie Silva, senior, 5-11, 210, Boston College.
Punter — Kevin Huber, junior, 6-1, 210, Cincinnati.
Quarterback — Chase Daniel, junior, Missouri.
Running backs — Ray Rice, junior, Rutgers; Mike Hart, senior, Michigan.
Wide receivers — Mario Manningham, junior, Michigan; Harry Douglas, senior, Louisville.
Tackles — Ryan Clady, junior, Boise State; Sam Baker, senior, Southern California.
Guards — Robert Felton, senior, Arkansas; Anthony Parker, junior, Tennessee.
Center — Jonathan Luigs, junior, Arkansas.
Tight end — Fred Davis, senior, Southern California.
All-purpose player — Felix Jones, junior, Arkansas.
Kicker — Austin Starr, junior, Indiana.
Ends — Vernon Gholston, junior, Ohio State; Lawrence Jackson, senior, Southern California.
Tackles — Terrill Byrd, junior, Cincinnati; James McClinton, senior, Kansas.
Linebackers — J Leman, senior, Illinois; Curtis Lofton, junior, Oklahoma; Ali Highsmith, senior, LSU.
Cornerbacks — Brandon Flowers, junior, Virginia Tech; Malcolm Jenkins, junior, Ohio State.
Safeties — Patrick Chung, junior, Oregon; William Moore, junior, Missouri.
Punter — Durant Brooks, senior, Georgia Tech.
Quarterback — Colt Brennan, senior, Hawaii.
Running backs — Matt Forte, sophomore, Tulane; Jonathan Stewart, junior, Oregon.
Wide receivers — James Hardy, junior, Indiana; Davone Bess, junior, Hawaii.
Tackles — Kirk Barton, senior, Ohio State; Ryan Stanchek, junior, West Virginia.
Guards — Andrew Crummey, senior, Maryland; Branden Albert, junior, Virginia.
Center — Adam Spieker, senior, Missouri.
Tight end — Travis Beckum, junior, Wisconsin.
All-purpose players — DeSean Jackson, junior, California.
Kicker — John Sullivan, senior, New Mexico.
Ends — Nick Reed, junior, Oregon; Greg Middleton, sophomore, Indiana.
Tackles — Vance Walker, junior, Georgia Tech; Frank Okam, senior, Texas.
Linebackers — Xavier Adibi, senior, Virginia Tech; Ben Moffitt, senior, South Florida; Scott McKillop, junior, Pittsburgh.
Cornerbacks — Alphonso Smith, junior, Wake Forest; Michael Jenkins, junior, South Florida.
Safeties — Kenny Phillips, junior, Miami; Taylor Mays, sophomore, Southern California.
Punter — Brett Kern, senior, Toledo.