Commentary

ESPNHS Football All-Americans

Updated: December 23, 2011, 3:03 AM ET
By ESPNHS.com

OK, so here's a shock -- Johnathan Gray made the ESPNHS All-American team. We know, tough to believe the Aledo (Texas) senior running back earned a spot after scoring 70 touchdowns this season and setting the national record for career touchdowns with 205.

But in all seriousness, while picking the Gatorade National Player of the Year and ESPNHS Mr. Football USA was a no-brainer, there were a lot of tough choices. Ultimately, the ESPNHS.com football staff, with input from ESPN Recruiting Nation and ESPNHS magazine, made the selections based on a combination of on-field performance, quality of competition and recruit ranking in terms of on-field performance. For instance, if a top recruit gets 12 sacks facing double- and triple-teams every game, he warranted a selection over a lower-level player who put up big numbers but wasn't facing the coverage the top recruit was.

Basically, if you see your name on this list, you earned it.


FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK
Jameis Winston, Hueytown (Ala.), Senior
Winston, the nation's No. 1 signal-caller, threw for 2,424 yards and 28 touchdowns with just two picks and added 1,063 yards and 15 scores on the ground.

RUNNING BACK
Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas), Senior
The nation's top running back set the national record for career touchdowns (205) in his final high school game, a win over Manvel (Texas) in the Class 4A, Division II state championship. Gray, who scored 70 touchdowns this year and led Aledo to its third straight state title, finished second all time in points scored (1,232) and third in rushing yards (10,908).

RUNNING BACK
Trey Williams, Dekaney (Houston), Senior
Williams was pivotal in Dekaney's run to the Class 5A, Division II state title in the fourth-year school's first playoff appearance. The Texas A&M commit ran for 3,884 yards and 48 touchdowns on 427 carries, caught two touchdown passes and returned a kickoff for a score.

WIDE RECEIVER
Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.), Senior
The nation's top receiver caught 119 passes for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns and finished his brilliant career with a national-record 6,356 receiving yards.

WIDE RECEIVER
James Quick, Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), Junior
The best player on one of the nation's top teams, Quick hauled in 69 passes for 1,206 yards and 16 touchdowns. Quick, who added a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, helped the Shamrocks to the Class 6A title and a No. 3 final ranking in the POWERADE FAB 50.

TIGHT END
Colin Thompson, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), Senior
Whether run blocking or catching passes, Thompson made a huge impact for the Vikings, who rolled to the Class AAA state title. Rated the nation's No. 1 tight end by ESPNU, Thompson has committed to Florida.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE
Max Tuerk, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Senior
It was a loaded year for elite offensive linemen in the Golden State, but it was Tuerk who led his team to a state title. The USC recruit helped Santa Margarita edge Bellarmine Prep (San Jose, Calif.) in the CIF Division I state bowl game.

GUARD
Evan Boehm, Lee's Summit West (Lee's Summit, Mo.), Senior
The nation's top guard earned All-State first team honors and guided Lee's Summit West to the Class 5 state semifinals.

CENTER
Jay Guillermo, Maryville (Tenn.), Senior
Clemson-bound star, who's rated nation's No. 1 center by ESPNU, led Maryville to its 13th state title.

GUARD
Vadal Alexander, Buford (Ga.), Senior
LSU-bound Alexander powered Buford to a Class AA state runner-up finish this year.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE
D.J. Humphries, Mallard Creek (Charlotte, N.C.), Senior
Rated the nation's No. 1 offensive tackle by ESPNU, Humphries, a Florida commit, was an All-State first team selection.


DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END
Noah Spence, Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.), Senior
Spence, who was named Gatorade State Player of the Year, finished the season with 108 tackles and 12.5 sacks while leading McDevitt to the Class AAA state final. The Ohio State recruit is rated No. 4 in the ESPNU 150.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Robert Nkemdiche, Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Junior
Nkemdiche matched his sack total (18) from his sophomore season despite being the focal point of every opponent's game plan. His play was integral to Grayson's run to its first state title and the Rams' No. 4 final ranking in the POWERADE FAB 50.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Darius Hamilton, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), Senior
The top player on the No. 1 team in the POWERADE FAB 50, Hamilton keyed a dominant defensive unit with his 72 tackles and 21 sacks.

DEFENSIVE END
Mario Edwards, Denton Ryan (Denton, Texas), Senior
The No. 1 overall recruit in the ESPNU 150, Edwards tallied a whopping 28 tackles for loss to go with 10 sacks despite being the focal point of opposing offenses.

LINEBACKER
Vince Biegel, Lincoln (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.), Senior
Biegel, a Wisconsin recruit, had 172 tackles, including 34 for loss, 21 sacks and three picks while leading Lincoln to the Division 1 state final.

LINEBACKER
Reuben Foster, Troup County (LaGrange, Ga.), Junior
Arguably the nation's top linebacker, regardless of class, Foster showcased his considerable talents this season, recording 185 total tackles (144 solo), 32 tackles for loss and 14 sacks while rushing for four touchdowns on offense. He has committed to Alabama.

LINEBACKER
Royce Jenkins-Stone, Cass Tech (Detroit), Senior
Michigan pledge led Cass Tech to its first state title, recording 145 tackles and five sacks while rushing for 12 touchdowns on offense.

CORNERBACK
Tracy Howard, Miramar (Fla.), Senior
Howard, who had 10 picks this year, was high school's version of Darrelle Revis as he led Miramar to the Class 8A state final. And anyone who threw at the nation's top corner paid the price. Just ask defending FAB 50 champ St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), which watched Howard make a key interception and then block a potential game-winning field goal in an October Miramar win.

CORNERBACK
Cyrus Jones, Gilman (Baltimore), Senior
Jones contributed in all facets for Gilman, picking off five passes and scoring 23 touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.

SAFETY
Landon Collins, Dutchtown (Geismar, La.), Senior
The nation's No. 1 safety had four interceptions, returning two for scores. The Gatorade State Player of the Year also ran for 1,218 yards and 21 scores.

SAFETY
Antonio Conner, South Panola (Batesville, Miss.), Junior
An All-State first team selection for the second consecutive year, Conner excelled at running back and safety. He finished the year with 1,472 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns on offense and had two picks and 10 pass breakups on defense. He also threw two touchdown passes and returned a kickoff and a punt for scores.


SPECIAL TEAMS

KICK RETURNER
Davonte' Neal, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Senior
A two-time Gatorade State Player of the Year, Neal returned three kickoffs and two punts for scores. He also topped the 1,000-yard mark in rushing and receiving.

KICKER
Alex Ball, Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.), Senior
Ball was dominant this season, kicking 19 field goals. A torn ACL in the Southern Section finals prevented him from playing in the CIF Open Division state bowl game.

PUNTER
Bradley Pinion, Northwest Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.), Senior
Clemson recruit averaged 46.1 yards on his 30 punts.

Jameis Winston
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSHueytown (Ala.) senior Jameis Winston, the nation's top quarterback, threw for 28 touchdowns and just two picks this season.

SECOND TEAM

Offense

QB: Maty Mauk, Kenton (Ohio), Senior
RB: Keith Marshall, Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.), Senior
RB: Rushel Shell, Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.), Senior
WR: Chris Black, First Coast (Jacksonville, Fla.), Senior
WR: Deontay Greenberry, Washington Union (Fresno, Calif.), Senior
TE: Sean Price, North Marion (Citra, Fla.), Senior
OT: Kyle Murphy, San Clemente (Calif.), Senior
OG: Jordan Simmons, Crespi (Encino, Calif.), Senior
OC: Ty Darlington, Apopka (Fla.), Senior
OG: Isaac Seumalo, Corvallis (Ore.), Senior
OT: John Theus, Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.), Senior

Defense

DE: Devonte Fields, Martin (Arlington, Texas), Senior
DT: Eddie Goldman, Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.), Senior
DT: Malcom Brown, Brenham (Texas), Senior
DE: Adolphus Washington, Taft (Cincinnati), Senior
LB: Michael Barton, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), Senior
LB: Peter Jinkens, Skyline (Dallas), Senior
LB: Reggie Ragland, Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.), Senior
CB: Terry Richardson, Cass Tech (Detroit), Senior
CB: Yuri Wright, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), Senior
S: Nelson Agholor, Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.), Senior
S: Su'a Cravens, Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, Calif.), Junior

Special Teams

KR: Randy "Duke" Johnson, Miami Norland (Miami), Senior
K: Austin Hardin, Marist (Atlanta), Senior
P: Collin Barber, Cartersville (Ga.), Senior


THIRD TEAM

Offense

QB: Patrick Towles, Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.), Senior
RB: D.J. Foster, Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Senior
RB: T.J. Yeldon, Daphne (Ala.), Senior
WR: Gehrig Dieter, Washington (South Bend, Ind.), Senior
WR: Thomas Johnson, Skyline (Dallas), Senior
TE: Griffin Gilbert, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas), Senior
OT: Arik Armstead, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.), Senior
OG: Patrick Kugler, North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.), Junior
OC: Brandon Arcidiacono, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), Senior
OG: Brian Gaia, Gilman (Baltimore), Senior
OT: Andrus Peat, Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), Senior

Defense

DE: Ifeadi Odenigbo, Centerville (Ohio), Senior
DT: Ellis McCarthy, Monrovia (Calif.), Senior
DT: Henry Poggi, Gilman (Baltimore), Junior
DE: Channing Ward, Aberdeen (Miss.), Senior
LB: Tim Kimbrough, Warren Central (Indianapolis), Junior
LB: Antonio Morrison, Bolingbrook (Ill.), Senior
LB: Butch Pauu, Servite (Anaheim, Calif.), Senior
CB: Will Likely, Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.), Junior
CB: Jabrill Peppers, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), Sophomore
S: Travis Blanks, North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.), Senior
S: Shaq Thompson, Grant (Sacramento, Calif.), Senior

Special Teams

KR: Stefon Diggs, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), Senior
K: Ross Martin, Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), Senior
P: Sean Covington, St. Petersburg (Fla.), Junior