NEW ORLEANS – Eight Tulane University football players earned All-American Athletic Conference honors on Tuesday, as the league announced its 2020 all-conference team.
Headlining this year’s list of honorees was senior defensive linemen Patrick Johnson, as he earned First Team All-AAC honors. He becomes just the second player in program history to be named to The American’s all-conference team in three straight seasons, joining former Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson. Johnson earned second team honors in 2018 and 2019.
Fellow senior defensive lineman Cameron Sample as well as junior punter Ryan Wright also earned First Team All-AAC recognition.
Senior offensive lineman Corey Dublin, sophomore offensive linemen Sincere Haynesworth, senior running Stephon Huderson and sophomore linebacker Dorian Williams all were named Second Team All-AAC.
Dublin’s second team honor marked the second time he was honored by the American Athletic Conference.
Rounding out the list of all-conference honorees was junior offensive lineman Joey Claybrook, as he was named Honorable Mention.
The eight Tulane honorees recognized by The American are the most since the Green Wave joined the league in 2014. Additionally, the eight all-conference players are the most since the Green Wave played 10 on the All-Conference USA team in 1997.
Johnson was tabbed first team after he led The American in sacks (10.0) and tackles for loss (14.5). With his 10.0 sacks this season, Johnson became the program’s all-time leader in career sacks with 24.5. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native also recorded 39 tackles which ranked ninth on the team. Johnson proved once again to be one of the more dependable players on the team, as he was one of just seven players that started all 11 regular season games. During the year, Johnson was recognized twice by the league office, as he was named to the weekly honor roll (Sept. 28) and was selected defensive player of the week (Nov. 9).
Sample was named to the first team after he posted a breakout 2020 campaign, registering career highs in tackles (52), tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (6.0). Pro Football Focus rated Sample as the Most Valuable Defensive Lineman in College Football. Sample’s six sacks ranked third in The American. The Snellville, Georgia, native once again proved to be a reliable force on the Green Wave defensive line, as he made starts in all 11 games.
Wright received first team honors after he posted career highs in punting average (45.8) and punts dropped inside the 20-yard line. In addition, the San Ramon, California, native had 15 punts that traveled 50 yards or more. His punting average led The American and ranked sixth nationally. Wright also was nominated for the Ray Guy Award.
Dublin and Haynesworth both earned second team honors after they key roles in paving the way for Tulane’s impressive rushing attack which averaged 218.9 yards per game – a figure that ranked second in The American. Haynesworth made starts in all 11 games, while Dublin made 10 starts this past season.
Huderson earned second team honors following a breakout senior season where he set single-season career highs in rushing yards (721), attempts (118), yards per carry (6.1) and touchdowns (four). In three games this season, the Petal, Mississippi, native surpassed 100 yards rushing, including a season-best 132-yard effort against 17th-ranked SMU. Huderson’s 721 rushing yards ranked second in The American.
Williams took home second team honors after he established himself as one of the league top linebackers. As a sophomore, the Fort Mill, South Carolina, native ranked second in the AAC in tackles for loss with 14.5. He also led the team with 84 tackles on the year.
Claybrook rounded out the list of Green Wave honorees after he was named honorable mention. The Starkville, Mississippi, native played a key role on the Green Wave offensive line and established a reputation as a tough and reliable player throughout the year. Claybrook battled back from an injury midway through the season to help the Green Wave finish the year with wins in four of their final five games.
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COURTESY TULANE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS