Adibi, Flowers named first-team All-Americans
Both make AFCA Coaches' squad
November 29, 2007

WACO, Texas - A pair of standouts on the Virginia Tech defense are a part of the 2007 AFCA Coaches' All-America Team announced Thursday by the American Football Coaches Association. Senior linebacker Xavier Adibi and junior cornerback Brandon Flowers both were honored, becoming the 13th and 14th first-team All-Americans in Tech football history.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best - the coaches themselves.

"These are two terrific players who have played great this year," said head coach Frank Beamer. "Both are extremely skilled but both of them are also very smart and understand the game. It speaks well for these two players and we congratulate them, but it also speaks well for our defense and I congratulate our whole defense for being a part of this."

THE OFFENSE
Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree is the first freshman since Herschel Walker to earn AFCA All-America honors in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Crabtree is currently the leading receiver in the FBS, averaging 155.1 yards per game with 21 touchdowns.

Crabtree is joined in the receiving corps by fellow Big 12 players Jordy Nelson of Kansas State and tight end Martin Rucker of Missouri.

Nelson is currently the nation's second leading receiver, averaging 133.8 yards per game for the Wildcats. Rucker has been one of the primary offensive weapons for a Missouri team that is enjoying one of the most memorable years in Tiger football history in 2007. He caught 75 passes for 739 yards and eight touchdowns this year.

The most dynamic player in college football this season, Arkansas runningback Darren McFadden, is joined in the backfield by quarterback Matt Ryan of Boston College and runningback Jonathan Stewart of Oregon.

McFadden is averaging 143.7 yards per game on the ground and 181.0 all-purpose yards this season. He recently moved past Bo Jackson into the No. 3 spot on the SEC career rushing chart. Stewart has been a workhorse back for the Ducks, rushing for 1,306 yards this year and is averaging 185.1 in all-purpose yards.

Ryan's emergence has played a big role in Boston College's drive to the ACC Atlantic Division title this season. He already has eight 300-yard passing games to his credit in 2007.

The offensive line features Michigan's Jake Long, Ohio State's Kirk Barton, Wake Forest's Steve Justice, Oklahoma's Duke Robinson and Boise State's Ryan Clady.

Long is one of four returnees on this year's AFCA Coaches' All-America Team. He anchored a Michigan offensive line that helped the Wolverines average 373.5 yards per game this season. Barton was the key blocker for a Buckeye offense that scored 32.0 points per game in 2007. Justice was the senior leader of a young Demon Deacon offensive front. Robinson is the key pass blocker for a Sooner offense that is averaging 457.6 yards per game. Clady's veteran presence helped Boise State rush for 2,306 yards this season.

THE DEFENSE
LSU's Glenn Dorsey headlines the defensive line for the second year in a row. He is joined by Virginia's Chris Long, South Florida's George Selvie and USC's Sedrick Ellis.

Dorsey is the defensive leader for the Tigers. LSU is surrendering only 103.8 rushing yards per game. Long, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, posted 19 tackles for loss and 14 sacks this season. Selvie has recorded an NCAA-leading 31.5 tackles for loss this season. Ellis has 12.5 tackles for loss for the Trojans.

The linebacking corps features James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, Adibi and J Leman of Illinois.

Laurinaitis posted 103 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and two interceptions for the Buckeyes as Adibi is also on pace to surpass the century mark in tackles for the Hokies. He has 99 tackles, including 11 for loss and three sacks, to go along with an interception, five pass break ups and five quarterback hurries. Leman was the heart and soul of an Illini defense this year as he led the Illini with 124 total tackles.

Adibi becomes just the second Tech linebacker in the program's history to earn first-team honors, joining Mike Widger (1968). The senior from Hampton, Va., also earned first-team All-ACC this week and leads the Hokies into the ACC Championship game Saturday against Boston College.

The defensive backs named to this year's AFCA Coaches' All-America Team are Dwight Lowery of San Jose State, Aqib Talib of Kansas, Flowers and Mike Jenkins of South Florida.

Lowery is another returnee from the 2006 AFCA Coaches' All-America Team and the first two-time AFCA All-America selection in San Jose State football history. Talib was a two-way threat for the Jayhawks this season, recording four interceptions and 61 tackles on defense while catching eight passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver. Jenkins posted 12 pass break-ups and three interceptions for the Bulls.

Flowers anchored a Virginia Tech secondary that limited opponents to 199.2 yards passing this season. He has 72 tackles, including seven for loss, with five interceptions and seven pass break-ups. After making second-team All-ACC earlier this week, he now becomes a two-time All-American after earning third-team honors from the Associated Press last year. Flowers is now in elite company in Virginia Tech football history, becoming just the seventh two-time All-American. If he returns for his senior year and is honored again next year, he would become the first three-time All-American in Tech football history.

"This means so much," Flowers said. "If you look down the list at the two-time All-Americans in Tech football history, it's such an elite list. Just to be honored in the same breathe with those players is a feeling I can't explain."

THE SPECIALISTS
The specialists on this year's AFCA Coaches' All-America Team are all-purpose player DeSean Jackson of California, punter Chris Miller of Ball State and placekicker Taylor Mehlhaff of Wisconsin.

The versatile Jackson is averaging 85.6 all-purpose yards per game for the Golden Bears and has scored seven touchdowns in 2007. Miller averaged 45.8 yards per punt on 56 attempts for the Cardinals and dropped 22 punts inside the 20. Mehlhaff converted on 40 of 41 PATs and 20 of 24 field goal attempts for the Badgers to lead the team in scoring with 100 points.

Team Background
The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945.

The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams, University Division and College Division, were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams - Division I-A and Division I-AA. In 1996 the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III respectively. The AFCA has selected an NAIA All-America Team since 2006.

From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997 a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team.

The return specialist position has been replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006.

Selection Process
The AFCA's Football Bowl Subdivision All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's nine I-A districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee.

The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts, that information, along with ballots submitted by FBS head coaches, are used to select the AFCA FBS Coaches' All-America Team.

2007 AFCA Coaches' All-America Team

Offense
PosNameHt.Wt.Cl.SchoolCoachHometown (High School)
WRMichael Crabtree6-3208Fr.Texas TechMike LeachDallas, Texas (Carter)
WRJordy Nelson6-3217Sr.Kansas St.Ron PrinceRiley, Kan. (Riley County)
TEMartin Rucker6-6255Sr.MissouriGary PinkelSt. Joseph, Mo. (Benton)
OLJake Long*6-7315Sr.MichiganLloyd CarrLapeer, Mich. (East)
OLKirk Barton6-6300Sr.Ohio St.Jim TresselMassillon, Ohio (Massillon Perry)
CSteve Justice6-4284Sr.Wake ForestJim GrobePort Orange, Fla. (New Smyrna Beach)
OLDuke Robinson6-5352Jr.OklahomaBob StoopsAtlanta, Ga. (Washington)
OLRyan Clady6-6317Jr.Boise St.Chris PetersenRialto, Calif. (Eisenhower)
QBMatt Ryan6-5220Sr.Boston CollegeJeff JagodzinskiExton, Pa. (William Penn Charter)
RBDarren McFadden*6-2212Jr.ArkansasHouston NuttLittle Rock, Ark. (Pulaski Oak Grove)
RBJonathan Stewart5-11230Jr.OregonMike BellottiLacey, Wash. (Timberline)

Defense
PosNameHt.Wt.Cl.SchoolCoachHometown (High School)
DLGlenn Dorsey*6-2299Sr.LSULes MilesGonzales, La. (East Ascension)
DLChris Long6-4280Sr.VirginiaAl GrohIvy, Va. (St. Anne's-Bellfield)
DLGeorge Selvie6-4242So.South FloridaJim LeavittPensacola, Fla. (Pine Forest)
DLSedrick Ellis6-2305Sr.USCPete CarrollChino, Calif. (Chino)
LBJames Laurinaitis6-3240Jr.Ohio St.Jim TresselHamel, Minn. (Wayzata)
LBXavier Adibi6-2236Sr.Virginia TechFrank BeamerHampton, Va. (Phoebus)
LBJ Lemen6-3243Sr.IllinoisRon ZookChampaign, Ill. (Central)
DBDwight Lowery*6-1185Sr.San Jose St.Dick TomeySanta Cruz, Calif. (Soquel)
DBAqib Talib6-0205Jr.KansasMark ManginoRichardson, Texas (Berkner)
DBBrandon Flowers5-10200Sr.Virginia TechFrank BeamerDelray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)
DBMike Jenkins6-0197Sr.South FloridaJim LeavittBradenton, Fla. (Southeast)

Specialists
PosNameHt.Wt.Cl.SchoolCoachHometown (High School)
PChris Miller6-2205Jr.Ball St.Brady HokeLibertyville, Ill. (Carmel)
PKTaylor Mehlhaff5-11184Sr,WisconsinBrett BielemaAberdeen, S.D. (Central)
APDeSean Jackson6-0172Jr.CaliforniaJeff TedfordLong Beach, Calif. (Poly)

* - 2006 All-American

For more information on the AFCA and its programs, log on to the AFCA's website at http://www.afca.com