DALLAS (FWAA) – The Southeastern Conference led the selection process with seven players and the Big 12 Conference had five when the 2009 Football Writers Association of America All-America Team was announced on Saturday. Nine of the 11 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and independent Notre Dame were represented on the squad.
UCLA’s Kai Forbath was selected as the team’s place kicker. The 2009 Lou Graza Award winner, he has also been selected first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Assn. and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Forbath and Stanford running back Toby Gerhart were the only representatives from the Pac-10.
The FWAA All-America Team, the second-longest continuously-published team in major college football, was announced on ABC-TV for the sixth straight season during a one-hour show that was sponsored by AT&T. The FWAA has named an All-America team in some form since 1944.
Nebraska tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s best interior lineman and Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner as the nation’s best defensive player, led a star-studded defense that had three repeat selections from 2008 – TCU end Jerry Hughes, Tennessee back Eric Berry and Alabama tackle Terrence Cody. Suh is the third player to sweep both the FWAA’s Outland and Nagurski trophies after Arizona’s Rob Waldrop in 1993 and LSU’s Glenn Dorsey in 2007.
Alabama led all schools with three players selected: Cody, linebacker Rolando McClain and running back Mark Ingram. Florida had two players: defensive back Joe Haden and center Maurkice Pouncey. McCoy, the other FWAA All-America repeater from 2008, was the quarterback of the team for the second straight season, and his teammate, defensive back Earl Thomas, also made the team. McCoy is the first quarterback to earn back-to-back FWAA All-America honors since Ty Detmer in 1990 and ’91. Also, Clemson had two players selected: return specialist C.J. Spiller and defensive back DeAndre McDaniel.
The ACC (three), Big Ten (two), Pacific-10 (two) and Mountain West (two) also had multiple players on the team. Thirteen of the 25 members of the team are underclassmen, including three sophomores. Four players – McCoy, Suh, Ingram and Stanford running back Toby Gerhart – are finalists for the Heisman Trophy to be presented on Saturday night.