Friday, December 4, 2009
Three non-AQ players named AFCA All-Americans
By Graham Watson
Three players from nonautomatic-qualifying schools have been named first-team All-Americans by the American Football Coaches Association.
TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes, BYU tight end Dennis Pitta and offensive lineman Mike Iupati all were named to the 25-player team.
The AFCA All-America team, in place since 1945, is the only All-America team chosen exclusively by coaches.
Last season, Utah kicker Louie Sakoda was the only player from a nonautomatic-qualifying team on the list.
Hughes has 15 tackles for loss, including 11.5 sacks, and a career-high 54 stops. He anchors the nation’s No. 2 defense.
Pitta is the nation’s top pass-catching tight end with 57 catches for 784 yards and seven touchdowns.
Iupati helped pave the way for Idaho to rank No. 12 in the country in total offense with 451.33 yards per game. The Vandals also had the 23rd-ranked scoring offense with 31.83 points per game.