Alabama Football lands five on Sporting News All-America Team

Alabama

Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney (15) loses his helmet as Auburn running back Shaun Shivers (8) runs through him for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (ALABAMA ATHLETICS) – Five Alabama football student-athletes earned All-America honors from the Sporting News Tuesday morning. Sophomore wideout/return specialist Jaylen Waddle earned first-team recognition, while senior Trevon Diggs (CB), juniors Xavier McKinney (S), DeVonta Smith (WR) and Jedrick Wills Jr. (OL) received second-team honors.

FIRST TEAM

Jaylen Waddle, Returner

  • The 2019 SEC Special Teams Player of the Year
  • Leads the nation in punt return average at 24.9 yards per return with 19 returns for 474 yards and a score
  • Has also returned four kickoffs for 152 yards and a touchdown
  • Added 553 yards and six touchdowns on 32 catches as a wide receiver

SECOND TEAM

Trevon Diggs, Cornerback

  • Totaled 37 tackles from his starting corner spot, including half a tackle for loss (-1 yard)
  • Picked off three passes with a combined 79 yards in returns while adding eight pass breakups
  • Recorded two defensive touchdowns this season, scoring on an 84-yard pick-six and a 100-plus yard fumble return

Xavier McKinney, Safety

  • Ranks 12th in the SEC in tackles with 85, a total that leads all Alabama defenders
  • Added 4.5 tackles for loss (-32 yards) and two sacks (-13 yards)
  • Has forced four fumbles and added three interceptions to go with five breakups
  • Returned one of his interceptions for an 81-yard touchdown

DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver

  • Leads the nation in yards after the catch with 731 for an average of 61.0 yards per game
  • Ranks second in the SEC and is tied for fifth nationally in touchdown receptions (13)
  • Leads Alabama in receiving yards with 1,200, a total that is second in the league and seventh nationally
  • Has recorded a pair of 200-plus yard receiving games as a junior, the first Tide wideout to accomplish the feat since Amari Cooper in 2014

Jedrick Wills Jr., Offensive Tackle

  • Has anchored an Alabama offensive line that has surrendered only 12 sacks in 381 pass attempts
  • Graded out at over 91 percent, allowing only one sack and 3.5 quarterback hurries
  • Missed a total of seven assignments across his 714 snaps for a 99.9 percent success rate

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