American Athletic Conference Football News: Three named to Walter Camp Preseason All-American Team

IRVING, Texas — Three American Athletic Conference players were named as 2021 Walter Camp Preseason All-America selections.

Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner and Houston return specialist Marcus Jones earned first-team accolades while Cincinnati defensive end Myjai Sanders was named to the second team.

Gardner earned recognition on five All-America teams following the 2020 campaign, including first-team honors from the Football Writers Association of America and USA Today along with second-team accolades from the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press and the Athletic. The first-team all-conference selection tied for second in The American with nine passes defended and tied for fourth with three interceptions in the regular season. In nine starts, he added 28 tackles and shared a sack.

Jones enters the 2021 season with five career return touchdowns (four kickoff, one punt) and has recorded 1,565 kickoff return yards in his three-year career to go along with 507 punt return yards. Jones was also a first-team All-America pick by Phil Steele Magazine, the FWAA and CBS/247 Sports as a return specialist in 2020. He led the FBS in punt return average in 2020 and was the only player in the FBS to have two games with at least 100 punt return yards.

Sanders was one of the anchors for a front seven which led The American in rushing, scoring, pass efficiency and total defense. A semifinalist for the 2020 Bednarik Award, he was rated by Pro Football Focus College as one of the top edge defenders in the NCAA FBS. Sanders had a team-best 10.5 tackles for a loss and 7.0 sacks in 2020 where he earned first-team all-conference honors. 

2021 Walter Camp Preseason All-America Teams

First Team Offense
WR: Chris Olave (Ohio State), Justyn Ross (Clemson)
TE: Charlie Kolar (Iowa State)
OL:  Darian Kinnard (Kentucky), Kenyon Green (Texas A&M), Evan Neal (Alabama), Thayer Munford (Ohio State)
C:  Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa)
QB:  Sam Howell (North Carolina)
RB:  Breece Hall (Iowa State), Mohamed Ibrahim (Minnesota)
PK:   Cade York (LSU)

First Team Defense
DL:  Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon), Bryan Bresee (Clemson), DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M), Haskell Garrett (Ohio State)
LB:  Will Anderson, Jr. (Alabama), Mike Rose (Iowa State), Nick Bonitto (Oklahoma)
DB:  Derek Stingley, Jr (LSU), Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame), Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati), Brandon Joseph (Northwestern)
P:  Lou Hedley (Miami)
KR: Marcus Jones (Houston)

Second Team Offense
WR:  Marvin Mims (Oklahoma), George Pickens (Georgia)
TE:  Jalen Wydermyer (Texas A&M)
OL:  Jamaree Salyer (Georgia), Jordan McFadden (Clemson), Cain Madden (Notre Dame), Jaxson Kirkland (Washington)
C:  Colin Newell (Iowa State)
QB: Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma)
RB:  Sincere McCormick (UTSA), Bijan Robinson (Texas)
PK:  Anders Carlson (Auburn)

Second Team Defense
DL: Myles Murphy (Clemson), Jordan Davis (Georgia), Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati), Calijah Kancey (Pittsburgh)
LB:  Edefuan Ulofoshio (Washington), Devin Lloyd (Utah), Micah McFadden (Indiana)
DB:  Eli Ricks (LSU), Josh Jobe (Alabama), Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson (TCU), Kaiir Elam (Florida)
P:  Jake Camarda (Georgia)
KR:  Aron Cruickshank (Rutgers)

COURTESY THE AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

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