ATLANTA The 17th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team features two players taking part in tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm and right tackle Andrew Thomas are the Bulldogs’ eighth and ninth all-time FWAA Freshman All-America selections, the first at each of their respective positions.
Georgia beat writer Chip Towers compared Fromm to such Bulldogs’ quarterback greats as Matthew Stafford, Eric Zeier, David Greene and Aaron Murray.
“None of them played with the poise and the consistency that I have witnessed from Jake Fromm this season,” Towers told SEC Country. “That’s reflected in his pass efficiency rating (166.4), which ranks fourth nationally, and also in Georgia’s overall record (13-1). Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has given Fromm the latitude to change plays at the line of scrimmage, which is a reflection of his ability to process mountains of information and be able to regurgitate it on the fly in the heat of the moment.”
Thomas not only started every game, but he also played most every snap on the Georgia offensive line.
“What gave him the edge over a couple of 5-star prospects was exceptional technique, which he credits first to his training at Atlanta’s Pace Academy High School,” Towers said. “Thomas also has the size, quickness and strength to match up with athletic defensive ends of the SEC. Look for him to make the move to left tackle for Georgia next season.”
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was selected as the FWAA First-Year Coach of the Year after leading the Sooners into the College Football Playoff in his first year at the helm.
Kenneth Murray also represented Oklahoma on the FWAA Freshman All-America team, one of four linebackers chosen.
The Big Ten led the FWAA with six players selected, followed by the SEC (5), the Pac-12 (4) and the ACC, Mountain West Conference and Conference USA, each of which had three players. The 10 FBS conferences are represented on the 30-man team, and there is also a player from an independent school.
The 13-person panel of nationally-prominent college football experts represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team.
Both true freshmen (20 players) and redshirt freshmen (10 players) were considered for the team and are so noted on the list below.
There are five former FWAA Freshman All-American selections playing in tonight’s game:
• All-SEC Punter JK Scott (2014)
• All-SEC WR Calvin Ridley (2015)
• All-SEC RB Nick Chubb (2014)
• TE Isaac Nautta (2016)
• K Rodrigo Blankenship (2016)
2017 FWAA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA TEAM
QB • Jake Fromm, Georgia (6-2, 225, Warner Robins, Ga.)
RB • Spencer Brown, UAB (6-0, 235, Kimberly, Ala.)
RB • AJ Dillon, Boston College (6-0, 240, New London, Conn.)
RB • Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (5-11, 214, Salem, N.J.)
WR • Justin Hall, Ball State (5-9, 160, Douglasville, Ga.)
WR • McLane Mannix, Nevada (5-10, 175, Midland, Texas)
WR JD Spielman, Nebraska (5-9, 180, Eden Prairie, Minn.)
TE • Matt Bushman, BYU (6-5, 230, Tucson, Ariz.)
OT Alaric Jackson, Iowa (6-7, 320, Detroit, Mich.)
OT • Andrew Thomas, Georgia (6-5, 320, Lithonia, Ga.)
G • Navaughn Donaldson, Miami (6-6, 350, Miami, Fla.)
G • Trey Smith, Tennessee (6-6, 320, Jackson, Tenn.)
C Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (6-3, 316, Amherst, Wis.)
DE Curtis Weaver, Boise State (6-3, 252, Long Beach, Calif.)
DE • Kylan Wilborn, Arizona (6-2, 245, Northridge, Calif.)
DT Ross Blacklock, TCU (6-4, 326, Missouri City, Texas)
DT • Jordon Scott, Oregon (6-1, 333, Largo, Fla.)
LB Racheem Boothe, Southern Miss (6-0, 210, Bassfield, Miss.)
LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern (6-4, 245, Katy, Texas)
LB • Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma (6-2, 242, Missouri City, Texas)
LB • Colin Schooler, Arizona (6-0, 226, Dana Point, Calif.)
DB • T.J. Carter, Memphis (5-11, 180, Nashville, Tenn.)
DB Chase Lucas, Arizona State (6-0, 156, Chandler, Ariz.)
DB • Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech (5-9, 172, Thibodaux, La.)
DB • Tariq Thompson, San Diego State (6-0, 190, San Diego, Calif.)
DB Andraez “Greedy” Williams, LSU (6-2, 181, Shreveport, La.)
P • Pressley Harvin III, Georgia Tech (6-0, 240, Alcolu, S.C.)
K Jace Christmann, Mississippi State (6-0, 195, Houston, Texas)
KR • Marcus Jones, Troy (5-9, 170, Enterprise, Ala.)
PR • Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan (6-2, 199, Southfield, Mich.)
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
• Denotes true freshman