Crouch, Grossman top All-America team

Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Quarterbacks Eric Crouch and Rex Grossman added a new twist to the AP All-America team -- the Heisman Trophy winner and runner-up are both on it.

Crouch, Nebraska's option whiz, was selected as the all-purpose player, while Grossman, Florida's sensational passer, won the quarterback spot on the team announced Tuesday.

Miami's Ken Dorsey was the second-team quarterback and Fresno State's David Carr made third team.

Crouch directed the Huskers to an 11-1 record and into the BCS' national title game against Miami in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 3. He was the choice in a category that replaced return specialist 10 years ago. The change was made to recognize college football's more versatile players.

Crouch ran for 1,115 yards and 18 TDs, passed for 1,510 yards and seven scores and also caught a 63-yard TD pass. Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El was the second-team all-purpose pick.

Grossman, who topped the nation in passing with 3,896 yards and 34 touchdowns, led four Florida players -- the most of any school -- chosen for the 26-player AP team. He guided the Gators to a 9-2 record, an Orange Bowl berth, and was selected AP player of the year last week.

Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, offensive tackle Mike Pearson and defensive end Alex Brown are the other Gators on the team. It also includes two players from No. 1 Miami -- Outland Trophy winning offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie and free safety Edward Reed, one of three repeat All-Americans.

BYU's Luke Staley and Tennessee's Travis Stephens are the running backs, with LSU's Josh Reed joining Gaffney at wide receiver.

Staley, the Doak Walker Award winner who ran for 1,673 yards, led the nation in scoring with 28 touchdowns. Stephens ran for 1,464 yards and 10 TDs.

Josh Reed caught 94 passes for 1,740 yards and seven TDs in helping LSU win the Southeastern Conference title and a spot in the Sugar Bowl. Gaffney had 67 catches for 1,191 yards and 13 TDs.

Along the defensive line are four standout ends -- North Carolina's Julius Peppers, Syracuse's Dwight Freeney, Tennessee's John Henderson and Brown.

Peppers had 9 1/2 sacks and returned one of his three interceptions for a TD; Freeney led the nation with 17 1/2 sacks and forced eight fumbles; Henderson, injured early in the season, finished strong to come up with eight tackles for losses; and Brown had 10 1/2 sacks for a defense that allowed just 14.1 points per game.

Oklahoma's Roy Williams, the Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award winner, heads up the secondary along with Edward Reed, Texas' Quentin Jammer and Washington State's Lamont Thompson.

Williams had 101 tackles, five interceptions and 22 pass breakups; Edward Reed led the Hurricanes' tenacious defense with nine interceptions; Jammer had 55 tackles and 24 pass breakup for the nation's top-rated pass defense; and Thompson led the Pac-10 with eight interceptions, including four against UCLA.

The rest of the offense includes Colorado tight end Dan Graham, Ohio State center LeCharles Bentley, and two more beefy linemen -- Nebraska's Toniu Fonoti and Colorado's Andre Gurode.

Graham caught 51 passes for 753 yards and six TDs for the Buffaloes, who won the Big 12 title and will play in the Fiesta Bowl.

Auburn's David Duval, who kicked winning field goals in three consecutive games, including a 44-yarder against Florida, is the place-kicker. Duval hit 16 of 27 field goals and all 30 extra-point tries.

The other defensive All-Americans are linebackers Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma, Levar Fisher of North Carolina State, E.J. Henderson of Maryland and Robert Thomas of UCLA.

Purdue's Travis Dorsch has a unique distinction -- he's the All-American punter and also made third team as kicker. His 48.4-yard punting average matched the fourth best in NCAA history, and he was 20 of 25 on field goals.

In addition to Edward Reed, the other repeaters are Calmus and Henderson.

The first team has 15 seniors, nine juniors and two sophomores -- Grossman and Gaffney.

The SEC was the top conference with eight All-Americans, with the Big 12 next at seven, followed by the ACC and Big East with three each, the Big Ten and Pac-10 with two each and the Mountain West with one.

The All-America team was selected by the following sports writers:

Kevin Acee (San Diego Union-Tribune); Dennis Dodd (CBS SportsLine); Bruce Hooley (Cleveland Plain Dealer); Steve Kirk (The Birmingham News); Tom Luicci (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.); Jaime Aron (AP Dallas); Landon Hall (AP Portland, Ore.); Mark Long (AP Miami); Rob Maaddi (AP Philadelphia); Eddie Pells (AP Jacksonville); and Richard Rosenblatt (AP college football writer).



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