3 Tigers, 2 Gamecocks earn AP All-American honors

Clemson landed three players on the 2011 Associated Press All-American team while South Carolina placed two on the squad.

Clemson freshman Sammy Watkins and junior Dwayne Allen were both named first-team All-Americans, while Tiger defensive end Andre Branch was a third-team selection.

South Carolina senior defensive end Melvin Ingram was named to the first-team All-America squad, while senior safety Antonio Allen was named to the second team.

Ingram, a 6-2, 276-pounder from Hamlet, N.C., led the Gamecocks with 13.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also intercepted two passes, was credited with six quarterback hurries and scored three touchdowns, including a 68-yard scamper on a fake punt in the Gamecocks’ win at Georgia. He was previously named first-team All-America by AFCA, the Walter Camp Football Foundation and SI.com.

Allen, a 6-2, 202-pounder from Ocala, Fla., led the Gamecocks with 81 tackles. He was the only player in the SEC to rank among the league’s top-10 in tackles, interceptions, fumbles forced and fumbles recovered.

Clemson landed three AP All-Americans for the first time since 1991.

Watkins, who was named as the all-purpose player, is the first true freshman in ACC history to be named a first-team AP All-American and the first at any school since Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson was honored in 2004. Allen was named as the tight end, the first Clemson tight end to make first-team AP All-American since Bennie Cunningham in 1974.

This marks the first time Clemson has had two first-team AP All-Americans in the same year. Not even Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team had two first-team selections by the AP.

This is the first time Clemson has had three players chosen first, second or third team by AP since 1991 when Jeb Flesch was a first -team choice at offensive guard, Rob Bodine was a second-team selection at middle guard and Ed McDaniel was a third team selection at linebacker.

This is the third straight year Clemson has had a first-team AP All-American, the first three-year stretch in school history.

See the full list:

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Robert Griffin III, junior, Baylor.

Running backs — Montee Ball, junior, Wisconsin; Trent Richardson, junior, Alabama.

Tackles — Barrett Jones, senior, Alabama; Matt Kalil, junior, Southern California.

Guards — David DeCastro, senior, Stanford; Kevin Zeitler, senior, Wisconsin.

Center — David Molk, senior, Michigan.

Wide receivers — Justin Blackmon, junior, Oklahoma State; Robert Woods, sophomore, Southern California.

Tight end — Dwayne Allen, junior, Clemson.

All-purpose player — Sammy Watkins, freshman, Clemson.

Kicker — Randy Bullock, senior, Texas A&M.

DEFENSE

Ends — Melvin Ingram, senior, South Carolina; Whitney Mercilus, junior, Illinois.

Tackles — Devon Still, senior, Penn State; Jerel Worthy, junior, Michigan State.

Linebackers — Luke Kuechly, junior, Boston College; Jarvis Jones, sophomore, Georgia; Dont’a Hightower, junior, Alabama.

Cornerbacks — Morris Claiborne, junior, LSU; Tyrann Mathieu, sophomore, LSU.

Safeties — Mark Barron, senior, Alabama; Bacarri Rambo, junior, Georgia.

Punter — Brad Wing, freshman, LSU.

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Andrew Luck, junior, Stanford.

Running backs — LaMichael James, junior, Oregon; David Wilson, junior, Virginia Tech.

Tackles — Jonathan Martin, senior, Stanford; Nate Potter, senior, Boise State.

Guards –Will Blackwell, senior, LSU; Austin Pazstor, senior, Virginia.

Center — Peter Konz, junior, Wisconsin.

Wide receivers — Ryan Broyles, senior, Oklahoma; Kendall Wright, senior, Baylor.

Tight end — Tyler Eifert, junior, Notre Dame.

All-purpose player — Joe Adams, senior, Arkansas.

Kicker — Caleb Sturgis, junior, Florida.

DEFENSE

Ends — Frank Alexander, senior, Oklahoma; Vinny Curry, senior, Marshall.

Tackles — Joe Vellano, junior, Maryland; Derek Wolfe, senior, Cincinnati.

Linebackers — Courtney Upshaw, senior, Alabama; Lavonte David, senior, Nebraska; Manti Teo, junior, Notre Dame.

Cornerbacks — David Amerson, sophomore, North Carolina State; Dre Kirkpatrick, junior, Alabama.

Safeties — Markelle Martin, senior, Oklahoma State; Antonio Allen, senior, South Carolina.

Punter — Ryan Allen, junior, Louisiana Tech

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