The awards keep piling up for Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.
The Kansas City Star
Sam was chosen a first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the organization announced Thursday night. The Walter Camp All-America team is one of five used by the NCAA to determine consensus All-Americans.
The other four are the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association of America and the Sporting News, which releases its team Friday. Players who receive first-team honors on any three of those teams are awarded consensus All-America status.
“I’m really grateful to be selected and for our team to be recognized like this,” Sam said in a statement released by MU. “It’s been a really rewarding season, especially after what we went through a year ago, and I feel like this validates all of the hard work we put in and all of the sacrifices we made as a team.
“My name is on the award, but that wouldn’t happen without everyone else pulling in the same direction together, and I want to thank all of my teammates and coaches for helping push me and for their support.”
Missouri has had four player achieve consensus All-America status under coach Gary Pinkel — tight end Martin Rucker and Jeremy Maclin, as all-purpose, in 2007; tight end Chase Coffman and Maclin as all-purpose and a kick returner in 2008; and tight end Michael Egnew in 2010.
On Monday, Sam was chosen Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year by the Associated Press. He was also the SEC’s co-defensive player of the year by the league’s coaches.
He’s the first conference defensive player of the year from MU since tackle Jeff Gaylord was chosen as the Big Eight’s top defender in 1981.
Sam led the SEC in sacks with 10 1/2 and tackles for loss with 18. MU also announced that Sam will receive his bachelor’s degree Saturday.
He was also chosen first-team All-America by USA Today, which put Kansas State safety Ty Zimmerman on its second team.
2013 Walter Camp first-team All-Americans
• Receivers: Mike Evans, Texas A&M, 6-5, 225, So.; Brandin Cooks, Oregon State, 5-10, 186, Jr.
• Tight end: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech, 6-5, 260, Jr.
• Offensive line: Cyrus Louandjio, Alabama, 6-6, 310, Jr.; Jake Matthews, Texas A&M, 6-5, 305, Sr.; Cyril Richardson, Baylor, 6-5, 340, Sr.; David Yankey, Stanford, 6-5, 313, Sr.
• Center: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma,6-3, 298, Sr.
• Quarterback: AJ McCarron, Alabama, 6-4, 214, Sr.
• Running backs: Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona, 5-10, 207, Jr.; Andre Williams, Boston College, 6-0, 227, Sr.
• Kickers: Anthony Fera, Texas, 6-2, 208, Sr.; Roberto Aguayo, Florida State, 6-1, 203, Fr.
• Defensive line: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh, 6-0, 285, Sr.; Michael Sam, Missouri, 6-2, 255, Sr.; Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas, 6-5, 250, Sr.; Vic Beasley, Clemson, 6-2, 235, Jr.
• Linebackers: C.J. Mosley, Alabama, 6-2, 238, Sr.; Anthony Barr, UCLA, 6-4, 248, Sr.; Trent Murphy, Stanford, 6-6, 261, Sr.
• Defensive backs: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, 5-11, 197, Sr.; Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State, 5-8, 190, Sr.; Jason Verrett, TCU, 5-10, 176, Sr.; Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State, 6-0, 200, Sr.
• Punter: Austin Rehkow, Idaho, 6-3, 202, Fr.
• Kick returner: Ty Montgomery, Stanford, 6-2, 215, Jr.