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SBNation 2015 College Football All-American Team: Our OTHER Ballot

Lotta' angry beef in that picture.
Lotta' angry beef in that picture.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, we gave you CB's ballot, and today is our other ballot for SBNation All-Americans.

All ballots were required to be submitted before the CFP National Championship Game, so Watson or Henry's performance in Glendale were not factored in here. The * denotes who I also considered.


Deshaun Watson (Clemson:) Simply the best at his position in the country. Alabama fans saw his unique mix of athleticism, accuracy, escapability, straight line speed, and incredible deep touch on the ball. Easily the leader out of the gate for the 2016 Heisman trophy.

*No one, bad year for QBs. Baker Mayfield had a shot had he produced all season and had he done so in OU's two biggest games, which he did not.

Running Backs:

Derrick Henry (Alabama:) Alabama's all-time leading rusher, SEC single-season rushing leader, Heisman winner, Maxwell winner, unanimous All-American, all SEC, and SEC offensive player of the year. This guy needs no introduction.

Dalvin Cook (Florida State:) There is not a more explosive, dynamic runner in the nation. In the regular season's biggest games, he balled out. Some nagging injuries and a comparatively pedestrian FSU season kept him under the radar. I considered Fournette here, but in the Tigers' biggest three games, he was a no-factor, and as a result LSU dropped all three (team losses to be sure, but still losses.)

*Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) - the one-man offense for the Rose Bowl winners.

Wide Receivers:

Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss:) Size, speed, power, great hands, and an offense to show off his skills -- no one is shutting down Treadwell all game. He recovered from a gruesome injury to lead the SEC in receiving.

Sterling Shepherd (Oklahoma:) Shepherd is even better than his old man. He is a pass-catching machine with exceptional speed, good route running, and underrated physicality. There are more imposing specimens and faster ones to be sure, but in a conference dominated by the passing game, his play consistently stood out above even my runners-up: Josh Doctson and Notre Dame's Will Fuller.

*Will Fuller (Notre Dame)

Tight End:

Hunter Henry (Arkansas:) Had more yards, more receptions, more yards per catch and more touchdowns that Michigan's Jake Butt. With no outside receiving threats, he carried the Arkansas passing offense...again.

*Jake Butt (Michigan)

Offensive Tackles:

Jack Conklin (Michigan State:) Just an absolute load. The Spartans should have had a far more physical running game than they did. Connor Cook's jersey was rarely dirty because of this guy.

Spencer Drango (Baylor:) Good feet, great size, excellent against the pass-rush and in Baylor's running scheme.

*Cam Robinson (Alabama:) Injuries, and far too many missed assignments cost Cam. He can't help he was injured, but his play suffered this season.


Pat Elflein (Ohio State:) Nasty, physical guy. Perfect downhill blocking guard. Fast enough feet to run the many counters Urban Meyer employs.

Dan Feeney (Indiana:) Duh.

*Sebastian Tretola (Arkansas:) An excellent guard overlooked in a year of fantastic guard play throughout the country.


Ryan Kelly (Alabama) This one is not even close. Michigan State's Jack Allen is nice player; he's not remotely in Kelly's class.


Defensive Ends

Carl Nassib (Penn State:) Former walk-on led the nation in sacks. Surprisingly adept at run-stuffing too. Penn State loses another game or two without the defensive line he anchored.

Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State:) One of the few players in America you have to scheme around. The motor never stops. Ignore the Derrick Henry face-planting; remember that Calhoun had a one-armed tackle of Henry earlier the game. Who does that?!

* Bosa, Garrett and Lawson disappear and had stretches where their heads were in the NFL or post-game. Neither are great run-stuffers either. Lawson, reluctantly, was my runner up. Jonathan Allen not being on the ballot was absolutely damned criminal.

Defensive Tackles:

Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss:) What A'Shawn can't do, Nkemdiche does.

A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama:) ...and vice versa. Both of these guys, like Calhoun, have to be schemed around. Put Nkemdiche's pass rushing and lateral speed with A'Shawn's leadership, run-stuffing, and chewing up the offensive line, and you have the Platonic exemplar of an all-world defensive tackle.

*Malik McDowell (Michigan State) and Sheldon Day (Notre Dame) -- both are Option B to the gentlemen above, but wonderful players in their own right, as is Kentucky's C.J. Johnson.


Reggie Ragland (Alabama:) Best leader, best inside linebacker in the country. Snubbed for individual awards, he'll get the last laugh when he's playing in the league 10 years down the road and Tyler Matevich is buying a ticket.

Kentrell Brothers (Missouri:) Tackling machine, never takes a play off. 1A to Ragland both in the SEC and the nation. The lone bright spot on a horrible Mizzou team. Too many fans in the SEC missed out on seeing this Senior wreck offenses.

Eric Striker (Oklahoma:) Active, mobile, agile, great pass rusher, great in coverage and an all around play-makers. If you were creating Madden players to the defend the HUNHS, this guy would be the prototype.

*Leonard Floyd (Georgia) An excellent player, but not as good as the ones above him.


Jalen Ramsey (Florida State:) The long, lean FSU product has speed to burn, excellent hips, rarely loses track of the ball, and is physical off the line.

Desmond King (Iowa:) I have not seen a college CB this polished and instinctive since Patrick Peterson or Joe Haden. Watch the Michigan State game to see how the position is played.

*Michigan's Jourdan Lewis was the only other one considered. After three years, I'll be glad to see Florida's VHIII stop being beaten like a rented mule.


Jabrill Peppers (Michigan:) The heart and soul of Michigan's injury-tattered defense, and an incredibly versatile player to boot.

Von Bell (Ohio State:) Takes a few too many plays off for my taste, but given the slim pickings that did not include Eddie Jackson, the best of the bunch: Physical, fast, good with the ball in the air.

* Jayron Kearse (Clemson) was the only other one considered. Duke's Jeremy Cash gets the pub for the numbers, but I just don't see it on the field. Von Bell's spot should have gone to Eddie Jackson.


Jake Elliot: The Memphis product will be making a lot of pro money for a very long time. There is a Mort Andersen leg on this kid; he shortens the field by an extra 7-10 yards just by being on the roster.


Tom Hackett (Utah:) Can we put this to rest now? It's not just the rarefied air in Utah that makes him the best punter: His accuracy, distance, coffin-corners, and wedge-shot control does.

Return Specialist:

Christian McCaffrey (Stanford:) 30 yards per KR, and performing on the biggest stage in the biggest games, earns my vote.

*Cameron Sutton (Tennessee:) A very, very close call here.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Christian McCaffrey: The award here is for Offensive Player of the Year, not the best nor most valuable. McCaffrey is not the nation's best overall returner, best overall running back, or best overall receiver. He is, however, excellent at all three of them, making him the nation's most dangerous player and now the holder of Barry Sanders' record for yards from scrimmage.

*Derrick Henry

Defensive Player of the Year:

Reggie Ragland (Alabama:) Since January 2nd, this guy has been the leader of the unit responsible for bring home Alabama's 16th national title. There are not enough superlatives to describe his individual play, much less his impact on a team overall.

*No one else considered

Coach of The Year:

Tom Herman: In his first season as a head coach, Herman took a ragtag group of down-trodden Houston Cougars and led them to a 13-1 season in which they pummeled Florida State in a NY6 bowl and won the AAC convincingly. If his work at Houston doesn't impress you, then look at what his absence meant to the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes. He is a fantastic coach and will be the subject of a 2016 offseason bidding war between the Longhorns and Aggies.

*Nick Saban (Alabama,) Larry Fedora (North Carolina,) Brian Kelly (Notre Dame.)