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2007 CFN Sophomore All-America First Team
Illinois CB Vontae Davis
Illinois CB Vontae Davis
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 6, 2007

Good enough to make the all-star teams, but not old enough to duck out to the next level quite yet, the sophomores are going to be the leaders and main stars of next year. We honor the top second year players, including Illinois hard-hitting CB Vontae Davis, in the Fourth Annual CollegeFootballNews.com All-Sophomore team.

Compiled by Richard Cirminiello 

- CFN Freshman All-America Teams 2004 | 2005 | 2006

- CFN 2007 Freshman All-America
Second Team

Offensive Sophomore of the Year: QB Tim Tebow, Florida
Defensive Sophomore of the Year: DE George Selvie, South Florida


First Team

Offense

QB Tim Tebow, Florida – The front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, Tebow has had a historically prolific season in his first year as a full-timer, throwing 29 touchdown passes and rushing for 22 more.  Beyond the gaudy numbers and statistical superlatives, he’s quickly evolved into the inspirational leader of the program, playing through pain and consistently coming up big in the clutch.  

RB Chris Wells, Ohio State – With the Big Ten title hanging in the balance, Wells gutted the Michigan defense on Nov. 17 for 222 yards and two scores, one of the best days ever for a back not named Biakabatuka in the storied rivalry.  It was the capper of a breakthrough season for the future first-round NFL draft choice, who’s run for 1,463 yards and 14 touchdowns with a tantalizing blend of power and burst.   

RB Eugene Jarvis, Kent State – The MAC’s newest version of Garrett Wolfe, Jarvis is a titanic weapon for the Flashes, despite being just 5-5 and 170.  Relying on his explosiveness to the hole and shifty moves in the open field, he ran for a league-high 1,669 yards and 10 touchdowns, adding 23 catches for 306 yards and three scores.   

WR Percy Harvin, Florida – Although he was slowed at times by injuries, Harvin proved to be one of the SEC’s most dangerous weapons whenever he was running at full strength.  The most versatile cog in the Gator offensive machine, he caught 50 passes for 781 yards and three touchdowns, adding 599 yards and five more scores on the ground in a variety of different ways, including inside handoffs and reverses.

WR Kenny Britt, Rutgers – Britt became just the third receiver in the 138-year history of Scarlet Knight football to go over 1,000 yards receiving in a season, catching 56 passes for 1,107 yards and seven touchdowns.  A super-sized target with a long stride, he averaged just under 20 yards a reception, tops in the Big East.

TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma – The lone semifinalist for the Mackey Award, Gresham is a phenomenal talent that’s too big and too fast for most defenders to cover.  At 6-5 and 260 pounds, he can sky above opposing players or use his long stride to split the seam and bust open a huge play.  Gresham erupted in his first significant action for 34 receptions, 11 of which wound up in the end zone, tops among tight ends.

OT Andre Smith, Alabama – Inconsistency on the Tide line in 2007 had nothing to do with Smith, a rock on the left side who’s already auditioning for scouts that are eager to get him to the NFL.  An ox at 6-5 and 340 pounds, he gets to the second level so fast, it almost defies the laws of physics for a man of that size.  

OG Greg Isdaner, West Virginia – Now a fixture on the left side of the Mountaineer front wall, Isdaner is about to complete his second full season as a starter.  A big, physical guard with good smarts, he’s an integral part of a unit that’s helped pave the way for the nation’s fourth-ranked rushing attack.

C Josh McNeil, Tennessee – The quarterback of a Volunteer offensive line that’s yielded just four sacks all season, McNeil has begun showing why he was one of the nation’s highest-rated centers coming out of high school two years ago.  Aggressive and smart, he has all the tools to contend for the Rimington Award once he eliminates a few bad habits.

OG Sergio Render, Virginia Tech – A huge talent that’s had his ups and downs over the last couple of seasons, Render was one of the catalysts of a Hokie line that played its best ball over the second half of the season.  Physically imposing at the point of attack, he’s capable of mauling his man, opening holes for the Virginia Tech runners. 

OT Ciron Black, LSU – A massive presence at 6-5 and 320 pounds, Black is equally adept at run blocking as he is at protecting the passer.  A real mauler at the point of attack, he’s got the potential to be one of the best linemen in the nation once he improves his footwork and overall consistency.
 

Defense

DE George Selvie, South Florida – A finalist for the Hendricks Award given to the nation’s top defensive end, Selvie leads the country with 31.5 tackles for loss, just one shy of the NCAA record.  Quick off the snap and relentless in backside pursuit, he also has 14.5 sacks, second to only Indiana’s Greg Middleton in the country.   

DT Geno Atkins, Georgia – Throughout the Dawgs’ blazing second half, Atkins was to the defense what RB Knowshon Moreno was to the offense.  Playing with a renewed focus and dedication, he’s tormented opposing linemen for 38 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 29 quarterback hurries, huge numbers for an interior lineman.  

DT DeMarcus Granger, Oklahoma – A second-team All-Big 12 selection, Granger has begun exhibiting some of the traits and potential that made him one of the nation’s most coveted interior linemen two years ago.  A 6-2, 310-pound pile-mover, he has 35 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks, numbers that don’t do justice to his importance to the nation’s eighth-ranked run defense.  

DE Greg Middleton, Indiana – Few sophomores in America made more of a quantum leap from his first season than Middleton, who has erupted for a nation’s best and school-record 16 sacks.  He chose to attend Indiana, in part, because it was one of the only schools that didn’t want to slide him inside, a move that’s working out rather well for the Hoosiers.       

LB Brandon Spikes, Florida – Instinctive well beyond his years, Spikes solidified himself as one the best up-and-comers at the position by racking up 118 tackles and 14 tackles for loss, while breaking up seven passes.  After just one season as a starter, he’s got all the tools to be the nation’s best middle linebacker as soon as next season.

LB Clinton Snyder, Stanford – Snyder started to reach his potential this fall.  He’ll spend the next two seasons exceeding it as the cornerstone of defensive coordinator Scott Shafer’s unit.  A disruptive and ferocious presence from the strongside, Snyder’s second-year resume included 96 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three fumble recoveries and a team-high four forced fumbles.    

LB Rico McCoy, Tennessee – The Volunteers’ second-leading tackler with 106 stops and 4.5 for loss plays a little faster and a whole lot more intense than most of his opponents.  A high motor guy with outstanding lateral quickness from the weakside, he’s also one of Tennessee’s most dependable linebackers in pass coverage.  

CB Vontae Davis, Illinois – A rising star among the nation’s cover corners, Davis earned a spot on the All-Big Ten first team in just his second season on campus.  Blessed with safety size and the athleticism to neutralize the other team’s top receiver, he’s collected 62 tackles to go along with four interceptions and eight pass breakups.        

S Emanuel Cook, South Carolina – Cook’s numbers didn’t tell the entire story about a safety that intimidates opposing receivers with his bone-jarring hits.  Despite missing the opener with appendicitis and some time in November with a foot injury, he led the Gamecocks with 92 tackles, adding eight tackles for loss, four sacks, three interceptions, and five passes broken up.   

S Shane Carter, Wisconsin – Carter has been the right man in the right spot a lot this season, picking off a Big Ten-high seven passes to go along with 51 tackles.  Although he still needs to hone his reads and cover skills, he’ll remain a valuable member of the Badger defense as long as he continues flashing crisp ball skills.   

CB Captain Munnerlyn, South Carolina – Before being lost for the season with a foot injury in November, Munnerlyn was blanketing SEC receivers as well as any cornerback in the league.  While only 5-9, he often wins the one-on-one battles with a physical demeanor at the line of scrimmage, blazing speed, and a 34-inch vertical leap.
        

Special Teams

K Leigh Tiffin, Alabama – Tiffin shook off a slow start, connecting on his final 16-of-19 field goal attempts and ranking behind only LSU’s Colt David in the SEC with 22 three-pointers made.  He also displayed good leg strength, joining his father, Van, as the only kickers in ‘Bama history to nail two 50-yard field goals in the same game.

P Jeremy Boone, Penn State – Second in the Big Ten at 42.2 yards per punt, Boone has done a marvelous job in his debut as Jeremy Kapinos’ successor.  The key component of a special teams unit that’s No. 6 nationally in net punting, the walk-on with the good hang time was rewarded with a spot on the all-league first team.     

  





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