Two players from Pitt and three from Penn State were named to The Associated Press All-America team yesterday, though none of the five were named to the first team.
The most impressive name in the group is that of Pitt freshman tailback Dion Lewis, who was the second-team running back and the only freshman named to the first or second team.
Lewis, who is from Albany, N.Y., but played at Blair Academy in New Jersey, set several school records this season while leading the Panthers to a 9-3 record and a second-place finish in the Big East Conference.
The AP team is just the latest honor for Lewis. He also was named to All-America teams by the Sporting News, CBSSports.com, SI.com, Rivals and Scout.
Lewis rushed for a Big East freshman record of 1,640 yards and he was Division I-A's third-leading rusher (136.67 yards per game) and he was named the conference's offensive player and rookie of the year.
He needs only 46 yards to break Tony Dorsett's freshman rushing record and he also has scored a school freshman-record 102 points. Also, Lewis' teammate, tight end Dorin Dickerson, was named to the third team.
As for the Nittany Lions, they had three players honored, led by Big Ten Conference defensive player and defensive lineman of the year, defensive tackle Jared Odrick, a second-team selection.
Odrick, a three-year starter, ranked No. 8 in the conference with 6.0 sacks for minus-45 yards. Odrick is fifth on the team with 41 tackles, has 10.0 tackles for losses (minus-56 yards), with one blocked field goal, one pass break-up and three quarterback hurries.
Penn State junior linebacker Navorro Bowman and senior tackle Dennis Landolt were named to the third team.
Landolt's dominant blocking was a big reason the Nittany Lions ranked second in the Big Ten in sacks allowed. Bowman leads the team with 15 1/2 tackles for losses and is No. 2 in Division I-A among all linebackers in tackles for losses with a 1.55 average, No. 10 overall in the category.
Alabama will have a lineup powered by a record number of All-Americans in the national championship game against Texas Jan. 7 in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif.
Six players on the top-ranked Crimson Tide, including Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, made the first team.
Ingram was a unanimous choice, as was linebacker Rolando McClain. Defensive tackle Terrence Cody was voted to the team for the second consecutive season. Cornerback Javier Arenas, guard Michael Johnson and kicker Leigh Tiffin also were on the squad.
Oklahoma twice (1987, 2003) had five first-team All-Americans, according to STATS. But no team has had more since 1964, when AP started selecting an offensive and defensive team.
"I think having six Alabama players on the first team says a lot about all of the players on our entire roster and is an indication of the hard work we put in and the togetherness we have on this team," Arenas said in a statement. "You aren't going to have six guys make first-team All-American unless your team is playing at a high level week in and week out. "
Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, the Heisman runner-up, and Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, fourth in Heisman voting, were also unanimous first-team All-Americans.
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was the All-American quarterback, selected to the first team by a panel of 14 AP college football poll voters. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was a second-team choice. Boise State's Kellen Moore was the third-team quarterback.
McCoy finished third in the Heisman voting and was a second-team All-American last year.
Paul Zeise can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1720. The Associated Press contributed to this report.