ESPN 2023 college football preseason All-America team

The beginning of the 2023 faculty soccer season is sort of right here, which suggests it is time to unveil ESPN’s preseason All-America staff.

The offense ought to look acquainted. Six gamers have been on our 2022 postseason All-America staff, together with Heisman Trophy-winning USC quarterback Caleb Williams. The protection options extra new faces.

What a participant has completed up to now in his profession definitely issues in choosing this staff, however there’s some projection concerned as nicely based mostly on session with faculty coaches, NFL scouts and colleagues who cowl the game. The aim is to select who we expect would be the finest gamers on the sphere this season.

Two-time defending nationwide champion Georgia leads the way in which with 5 alternatives.


This season Williams will try and do one thing that has been completed just one different time in faculty soccer historical past, and that is win the Heisman Trophy for a second time. Williams broke nearly each USC quarterback document final season, together with whole offense (4,919 yards) and touchdowns accounted for (52). He is a dynamic passer each within the pocket and on the transfer, and is at all times a risk to run when a play breaks down. A second Heisman can be good, however Williams’ focus is clearly on getting the Trojans again to the School Soccer Playoff and profitable their first nationwide championship since 2004.

On his strategy to being a possible Heisman Trophy finalist final season, Corum injured his left knee within the next-to-last regular-season sport and was completed for the 12 months. Corum cannot anticipate the 2023 season after passing up an opportunity to show professional. He mentioned he is “higher than ever” — his mobility, reducing skill, every little thing. He rushed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns earlier than the damage a 12 months in the past and can once more be the centerpiece of the Michigan working sport. However he will not be pressured to hold too heavy a burden with sidekick Donovan Edwards additionally returning within the Wolverines’ backfield.

Judkins was sensational as a freshman in an Ole Miss offense that ranked third nationally in speeding (256.4 yards per sport). His 1,567 speeding yards and 16 touchdowns led the SEC, and to place these numbers in perspective, Herschel Walker is the one participant in SEC historical past to hurry for extra yards as a freshman. Judkins had eight 100-yard speeding video games, together with a pair of 200-yard performances. He has mentioned he appears like he can have a greater total really feel for the sport in 2023, which suggests 3,000 yards in two seasons is just not out of the query.

Harrison has every little thing you would need in a receiver and the manufacturing to go along with it. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Harrison led the FBS with 878 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in opposition to single protection, in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus. He had 20 catches of 20 yards or longer and mentioned this summer time that Ohio State would have crushed Georgia within the playoff final 12 months had he not been knocked out of the sport with a concussion on a play that was initially dominated focusing on earlier than being overturned. Maybe Harrison will get one other shot on the Dawgs this season.

The Michael Penix Jr.-to-Odunze connection is again, which is not the finest information for the remainder of the Pac-12. Each gamers thought of turning professional, however they felt like there was unfinished enterprise at UDub. Odunze had a breakout junior season a 12 months in the past in main the Pac-12 in receiving yards (1,145) and have become the primary participant at school historical past to have 4 straight 100-yard receiving video games. He has the scale (6-3, 210 kilos) and velocity to present any defensive again matches, and it is not going to be simple to shadow him with equally proficient wideout Jalen McMillan on the opposite aspect.

Ever since making the trek from California to play for the Dawgs, Bowers has been the quintessential tight finish, whether or not he is catching the ball down the center of the sphere and outrunning defenders, knocking a defender on his again aspect whereas blocking inside or on the sting and even taking a handoff and sprinting in for a landing. There’s not a lot the 6-4, 230-pound Bowers cannot do. He has scored 24 touchdowns in his first two seasons (20 receiving and 4 speeding) and returns for his junior season as one of the vital useful and versatile gamers within the sport.

The 6-8, 322-pound Alt is a repeat choice after making ESPN’s 2022 All-America staff as a sophomore. He is every little thing you search for in a left deal with and positively has the bloodlines. His father, John Alt, is a Kansas Metropolis Chiefs Corridor of Famer, and the youthful Alt is on monitor to have a protracted profession within the professionals himself. A decent finish in highschool, Alt did not enable a sack final season and is equally dominant within the run sport. Switch quarterback Sam Hartman could not ask for a greater protector of his blind aspect.

There will not be any scarcity of proficient guards in faculty soccer this season, however no person has a extra promising upside than the 6-5, 335-pound Booker along with his mix of measurement, power and agility. He was a Freshman All-American a 12 months in the past and can line up at proper guard as a sophomore beside former IMG Academy teammate JC Latham at proper deal with. It is a proper aspect of the Alabama offensive line that Latham mentioned can be “harmful” in 2023.

Van Pran was maybe crucial recruit Georgia secured this offseason when he determined to return to highschool after beginning each sport at middle for the Bulldogs throughout their two nationwide championship seasons. He was on the high of the NFL’s checklist of middle prospects a 12 months in the past and can anchor an offensive line that may characteristic some new faces in 2023. Now in his fourth season in this system, Van Pran can be one of many strongest leaders on Georgia’s staff, and his expertise might be particularly useful with the Dawgs breaking in a brand new quarterback.

How’s this for a stat: Beebe hasn’t allowed a sack in his final 803 pass-blocking performs relationship again to the 2020 season, in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus. A fifth-year senior, Beebe has began 35 profession video games, 14 at left guard a 12 months in the past. He is additionally performed left deal with and proper deal with throughout his Kansas State profession and earned Huge 12 offensive lineman of the 12 months honors final season for the convention champions. Wherever Beebe traces up on the offensive line, he is confirmed to be a difference-maker.

Had he declared for the NFL draft a 12 months in the past, Fashanu would have possible been a first-round choice. So it was a coup for Penn State to get him again at his left deal with place. At 6-6 and 319 kilos, Fashanu is a refined go protector and has glorious footwork for a participant his measurement. This might be solely Fashanu’s second season as a starter, and people in and across the Penn State program are assured he might be much more dominant as a junior — and that is after permitting no sacks in 281 pass-blocking snaps final season.

All-purpose: Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State

Egbuka, a junior receiver, was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award final season as probably the most versatile participant in faculty soccer. He caught 74 passes for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns and added a pair of speeding touchdowns. The Buckeyes even have used him to return punts and kickoffs. At receiver, they’ve used him within the slot, on the skin, and he is additionally taken handoffs out of the backfield. “If there’s a difficulty, ‘The place’s Emeka? He’ll assist us repair it,'” Ohio State offensive coordinator Brian Hartline mentioned.


Florida State is coming into this season with probably the most buzz this system has had in a very long time, and the Seminoles’ protection might be led by the 6-4, 260-pound Verse, who burst onto the scene a 12 months in the past after beginning his profession within the FCS ranks at Albany. Verse completed with 16.5 tackles for loss, together with 9 sacks, a 12 months in the past. With this being his second 12 months within the system, and particularly if he can keep wholesome after battling just a few accidents final season, Verse has an opportunity to place up even greater numbers in 2023.

Anyone sleeping on Illinois’ protection or Newton is just not paying consideration. Newton has gone from a three-star recruit in highschool to considered one of faculty soccer’s finest inside defensive linemen. The 6-2, 295-pound Newton handed up the NFL to return for his fourth season, and Illinois’ D ought to once more be salty after main the nation a 12 months in the past in scoring protection (12.8 factors per sport). Not solely is Newton a menace inside, however fellow defensive lineman Keith Randolph can be a future professional. The “Legislation Agency,” as coach Bret Bielema calls them, mixed for 27 tackles for loss final season.

Williams is coming off foot surgical procedure that induced him to overlook most of spring apply, however the Georgia employees is anticipating extra of what they noticed out of him final season as a real freshman. The 6-5, 265-pound Williams tied Jalen Carter with a team-leading 31 quarterback hurries and performed particularly nicely within the CFP, getting a sack whereas matched up in opposition to Ohio State first-round draft decide Paris Johnson within the nationwide semifinal. Williams flashed greatness in tying for the nationwide lead amongst true freshmen with six sacks final season, and count on these flashes to grow to be extra of a fixture in 2023.

With Will Anderson Jr. transferring on to the NFL, Turner assumes the position as Alabama’s marquee pass-rusher. Final season was his first as a full-time starter, and Turner’s velocity jumps out whether or not he is speeding the quarterback or chasing down a ball provider. His numbers weren’t eye-popping as a sophomore (eight tackles for loss, 4 sacks), however he had 8.5 sacks as a freshman. New defensive coordinator Kevin Steele needs to create extra unfavorable performs on protection, and the 6-4, 242-pound Turner will play a key position in that.

Take your decide with Perkins. He can play linebacker or edge rusher, and wherever he traces up, he is an impression defender. Perkins was nonetheless studying to play the sport a 12 months in the past as a real freshman within the SEC and relied totally on sheer athleticism to guide the staff in tackles for loss (13), sacks (7.5), quarterback hurries (14) and compelled fumbles (4). Search for Perkins to be extra seasoned, extra constant and much more disruptive this season, which is unhealthy information for opposing offenses.

The proficient front-seven gamers which have come by Georgia on Kirby Sensible’s watch are too many to rely. The 6-1, 245-pound Dumas-Johnson smothers the run and can be adept at attending to the passer from his inside linebacker place. As a real sophomore final season, he led Georgia’s nationwide championship protection with 9 tackles for loss and was third in quarterback hurries (24). Dumas-Johnson was a finalist for the Butkus Award as one of the best linebacker within the nation a 12 months in the past and might be proper in that blend once more in 2023.

Defensive coordinators love linebackers who can perform a little little bit of every little thing, and that is why Clemson coordinator Wesley Goodwin is so excessive on Carter. The 6-1, 225-pound junior performed a team-high 832 snaps final season, primarily as a result of he rushes the passer, covers the go and performs the run all at a excessive stage. Simply considered one of faculty soccer’s most well-rounded linebackers, Carter groups with Jeremiah Trotter to present Clemson two of its finest linebackers within the Dabo Swinney period.

McKinstry has been beginning because the second sport of his true freshman season and enters his junior 12 months as probably the most completed cornerback within the nation. Already, some mock drafts have him going as a top-10 decide within the 2024 NFL draft. The 6-1, 195-pound McKinstry has the lockdown abilities to restrict groups’ finest receivers, and along with his expertise, he is the sort of cornerback we have seen on a few of Nick Saban’s finest defenses. McKinstry doubles as considered one of faculty soccer’s most harmful punt returners.

One of many causes Penn State retains arising within the nationwide championship dialog this offseason is that this ought to be James Franklin’s finest protection. There is a ton of expertise on that aspect of the ball — linebacker Abdul Carter and defensive ends Chop Robinson and Dani Dennis-Sutton to call just a few. However having a cornerback the caliber of King on the again finish creates all kinds of choices for a protection. The 5-11, 191-pound junior was third nationally final season in passes defended (21) and go breakups (18) and likewise had three interceptions.

Paired with former five-star recruit James Williams, Kinchens provides the Hurricanes one of many extra proficient security tandems within the nation. Miami limped to a 5-7 end in Mario Cristobal’s first season as coach, however Kinchens was a star. He tied for first amongst Energy 5 gamers with six interceptions, returning a type of 99 yards for a landing, and likewise led the staff with 59 tackles. Kinchens has good measurement (205 kilos) and instincts and might be one of many extra full defensive backs in faculty soccer this season.

Pretty much as good as Starks was as a real freshman, he ought to be even higher as a sophomore with a 12 months’s price of expertise and having a good higher really feel for Georgia’s system and the velocity of the faculty sport. The 6-1, 205-pound Starks led all Georgia defenders on its nationwide championship staff final season with 847 snaps performed and completed third on the staff with 68 whole tackles whereas beginning in all 15 video games. Starks and Javon Bullard will give the Bulldogs top-of-the-line security duos within the nation, as Bullard is transferring from the nickel/star place to security. Their mixed versatility might be invaluable to a Georgia protection that has had 13 gamers drafted over the past two years.


It is laborious to beat perfection, however that is what Karty was a 12 months in the past for the Cardinal in going 18-for-18 on subject aim makes an attempt, with a protracted of 61 yards that set a document for a Pac-12 sport. As he enters his senior season and third as Stanford’s beginning place-kicker, Karty’s accuracy might be a plus for a Cardinal offense looking for all of the factors it could muster after ending 109th nationally in scoring final season. Karty additionally has nice vary. He made all three of his makes an attempt from past 50 yards in 2022 and had 13 makes of 40 yards or longer.

Getting into his fourth season as South Carolina’s punter, Kroeger has averaged 44.2 yards per punt throughout his profession, rising a 12 months in the past as an MVP candidate for the Gamecocks and one of the vital versatile particular groups gamers within the nation. He averaged 46.1 yards per punt and had 29 punts downed contained in the 20-yard line (three contained in the 5 in a 31-30 win over rival Clemson). However Kroeger is greater than only a punter. He is thrown three profession touchdowns as a trick play passer and likewise holds on place kicks.

Any time Griffin has the ball in his arms, the enjoyable begins — until you are attempting to deal with him. He led the nation in kickoff return common final season as a junior (32.3 yards on 19 returns) and has taken a kickoff again for a landing in every of the final two seasons. The 5-10, 180-pound Griffin had kickoff returns of 30 yards or longer in eight of the Bulldogs’ 13 video games final season, and as a receiver, caught 40 passes for 502 yards and 4 touchdowns.

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