Missouri defensive end Michael Sam keeps racking up honors.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Assuming, that is, you consider “midseason All-American” an honor. But I guess it’s better than preseason All-American, which is based purely on hype and expectations.
Anyway, Sam is rapidly becoming the face of the 14th-ranked and unbeaten Tigers’ surge into the national championship picture. He has 23 tackles, including 10 for a loss this season, with six sacks.
Sam, who leads the Southeastern Conference in tackles for a loss and sacks, also has a pass breakup, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, which he scooped up and returned 21 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of a 41-26 road win Saturday against No. 7 Georgia.
Here is USA Today’s midseason All-American take, which also includes Sam. Fair warning, it’s one of those annoying Bleacher Report-style slideshow.
Finally, the NFL was the only outlet to include more than one Tiger on its midseason All-American report, which includes selections from seven different “reporters.”
Chase Goodbread chose Missouri senior cornerback E.J. Gaines as one of his two cornerbacks.
Of course, I’m skeptical of this whole list for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that Bucky Brooks chose Michael Sam as a midseason All-American at defensive tackle.
Plus, Gil Brandt’s picks undermine the whole operation’s credibility even further.
Among Brandt’s more egregious choices — Georgia’s Aaron Murray over any of a dozen quarterbacks having better seasons, including Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel.
Not to pick on Brandt, but apparently he’s a massive Bulldogs homer somehow.
He also listed running back Todd Gurley, who no doubt was having a terrific season before spraining his left ankle but has missed nearly half the year, and kicker Marshall Morgan. At least the Morgan picks seems defensible.
Of course, then you realize Brandt also chose South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney — presumably from laziness or strictly on reputation, which is almost fitting in an ironic way considering the South Carolina defensive end’s season — and decide to ignore his column altogether.