UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn makes fourth All-American team

UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn made the AFCA All-American team on Wednesday, leaving him one selection short of becoming just the 11th Bruin to ever earn unanimous status.

Fairbairn was also picked as an All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Associated Press, the FWAA, but settled for a second-team mention by the Sporting News behind Florida State’s Roberto Aguayo.

The Lou Groza Award winner is still the second UCLA player to claim consensus All-American status under fourth-year head coach Jim Mora, following linebacker Anthony Barr. Barr was only left off the FWAA team in 2013.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew was the last Bruin to become a unanimous All-American, doing so in 2005 as a returner and all-purpose player.

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VIDEO: UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn reflects on All-American journey

UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn started his career by missing two extra point attempts. More than three years later, he’s become a Lou Groza Award winner and a consensus All-American.

“You kind of just take it kick by kick,” he said.

Fairbairn settled for Sporting News’ All-American second team on Tuesday, ending his chances of becoming the 11th Bruin to ever earn unanimous All-American status. He finished behind Florida State’s Robert Aguayo, who won the Lou Groza Award in 2013.

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UCLA’s Jordan Payton, Ka’imi Fairbairn picked for Senior Bowl

UCLA receiver Jordan Payton was one of two Bruins to accept invitations to the Senior Bowl. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA receiver Jordan Payton was one of two Bruins to accept invitations to the Senior Bowl. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA receiver Jordan Payton and kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn have both accepted invitations to the Senior Bowl.

The two Bruins will appear in arguably the top postseason all-star game on Jan. 30 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Payton is the school’s all-time receptions leader and its first 1,000-yard receiver since 2011, while Fairbairn is a Lou Groza Award winner and consensus All-American.

UCLA was represented in the 2015 Senior Bowl by defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa — an eventual third-round draft pick — and defensive back Anthony Jefferson.

Center Jake Brendel is slated to appear in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 23, while receiver Devin Fuller and linebacker Aaron Wallace are set to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl the same day.

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UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn named consensus All-American

UCLA kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn (left) has become the Bruins' second consensus All-American of the Jim Mora era. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn (left) has become the Bruins’ second consensus All-American of the Jim Mora era. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

The postseason honors continue to roll in for UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn.

After winning the Lou Groza Award last Thursday as the top kicker in college football, the senior can now call himself a consensus All-American. He is the first Bruin to qualify since linebacker Anthony Barr in 2013.

Consensus All-American status is achieved when a player makes at least three of the five major teams. Fairbairn was picked by the Walter Camp Football Foundation last week, the Associated Press on Sunday, and the FWAA on Monday.

If the Hawaii native also makes the Sporting News and AFCA lists, he’ll become UCLA’s first unanimous All-American since Maurice Jones-Drew in 2005. Only 10 Bruins have ever been named unanimously, with linebacker Jerry Robinson and safety Kenny Easley earning two nods apiece.

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UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn wins Lou Groza Award

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UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn is officially the top kicker in college football.

The senior beat out Auburn’s Daniel Carlson and Memphis’ Jake Elliott on Thursday night, winning the Lou Groza Award during a ceremony at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. He received the honor after settling for All-Pac-12 second team, falling behind Oregon’s Aidan Schneider.

Fairbairn became the conference’s all-time leading scorer this fall, making 20 of 23 field goals and setting a school record with a 60-yarder against Cal — a booming kick that likely balanced out his misses from 49 and 47 yards to end the season. He had never made one from even 50 yards until this season. He is the first Bruin to win the Lou Groza Award since Kai Forbath in 2009.

“There is a quote by Sir Isaac Newton that says, “I see as far as I see, because I stand on the shoulders of giants,” Fairbairn said after winning his award. “It is because of the efforts of a great deal of others that I stand here today. These people are the foundation that have enabled me to succeed.”

He proceeded to thank a long list of people, including UCLA administrators, head coach Jim Mora, his teammates — in particular, backup quarterback/holder Jerry Neuheisel and longsnapper Chris Longo — and his parents, John and Rochelle.

The Hawaii native was also named to the Walter Camp All-America first team. Carlson and Elliott shared the second-team spot.

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