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Tackle eligible

Miami's McKinnie heads CNNSI.com All-Americans

Posted: Monday December 03, 2001 6:37 PM
Updated: Wednesday December 05, 2001 4:17 PM
  Bryant McKinnie Hurricanes tackle Bryant McKinnie held Syracuse DE Dwight Freeney without a sack or even a tackle. Doug Pensinger/Allsport

By Stewart Mandel, CNNSI.com

Some things in college football never change. Like Tailgating. Fight songs. Cheerleaders.

And quarterbacks winning all the major awards.

As the barrage of postseason honors begins, there is certainly no shortage of deserving quarterbacks to consider. But after much deliberation, the panel for CNNSI.com's 2001 All-America Team decided the most superior talent in the country this season was not a QB. Or a running back. Or a receiver.

CNNSI.com's player of the year award goes to Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie.

Anyone who has watched the Hurricanes play can attest to McKinnie's importance to an offense that has scored a school-record 475 points this season and averaged over 200 yards per game both rushing (204.6) and passing (250.2). QB Ken Dorsey and RB Clinton Portis' jobs are made easier when they've got a 6-foot-9, 330-pound giant in front of them who has yet to allow a sack in two seasons with the 'Canes.

"I cannot imagine that there's anyone in the country better than him," said Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe. "He's unparalleled in his natural gifts, but what really makes him special is how he's worked on his technique since being here."

McKinnie's signature game came Nov. 17 against Syracuse when he held Orangeman DE Dwight Freeney -- who entered the contest with 16.5 sacks -- without a sack or even a tackle. And it was probably no coincidence that, after missing most of the second half of last week's Virginia Tech game with a sprained knee, Miami's offense struggled. Twelve of its 23 rushing attempts went for 1 yard or less, and Dorsey was just 6-of-17 for 67 yards.

McKinnie had arthroscopic surgery Monday but is expected to recover in time for the Rose Bowl.

McKinnie narrowly edged Florida QB Rex Grossman for top honors. Grossman is CNNSI.com's All-American quarterback.

CNNSI.com coach of the year went to Maryland's Ralph Friedgen, who in his first season as a head coach led the Terps to a 10-1 record and first outright ACC championship since 1985.

CNNSI.com 2001 All-Americans
Pos.  Player  School  Pos.  Player  school 
QB  Rex Grossman  Florida  DL  Julius Peppers  North Carolina 
RB  Travis Stephens  Tennessee  DL  Wendell Bryant  Wisconsin 
RB  Luke Staley  BYU  DL  Alex Brown  Florida 
WR  Jabar Gaffney  Florida  DL  Dwight Freeney  Syracuse 
WR  Josh Reed  LSU  LB  Rocky Calmus  Oklahoma 
OL  Bryant McKinnie  Miami  LB  Andra Davis  Florida 
OL  Toniu Fonoti  Nebraska  LB  E.J. Henderson  Maryland 
OL  Frank Romero  Oklahoma  DB  Roy Williams  Oklahoma 
OL  Joaquin Gonzalez  Miami  DB  Ed Reed  Miami 
OL  Andre Gurode  Colorado  DB  Keyou Craver  Nebraska 
TE  Jeremy Shockey  Miami  DB  Quentin Jammer  Texas 
                 
Todd Sievers  Miami  KR  Herb Haygood  Michigan State 
Travis Dorsch  Purdue  PR  Roman Hollowell  Colorado 
                 
Player   Bryant McKinnie  Miami  Coach   Ralph Friedgen  Maryland 
Honorable Mention: QB -- David Carr, Fresno State, Eric Crouch, Nebraska, Ken Dorsey, Miami, Joey Harrington, Oregon, Antwaan Randle El, Indiana; RB -- Anthony Davis, Wisconsin, William Green, Boston College, Chester Taylor, Toledo; WR -- Lee Evans, Wisconsin, Marquise Walker, Michigan; TE -- Daniel Graham, Colorado; OL -- Seth McKinney, Texas A&M, Mike Pearson, Florida, Victor Rogers, Colorado; DL -- Alan Harper, Fresno State, William Joseph, Miami, Larry Tripplett, Washington; LB -- Levar Fisher, N.C. State, Larry Foote, Michigan, Ben Taylor, Virginia Tech; DB -- Mike Doss, Ohio State, Michael Lewis, Colorado, Lamont Thompson, Washington State, Eugene Wilson, Illinois; K -- Asen Asparuhov, Fresno State, Jeff Chandler, Florida, Travis Dorsch, Purdue, Damon Duval, Auburn; P -- Jeff Ferguson, Oklahoma; KR -- Aaron Lockett, Kansas State, Chris Massey, Oklahoma State; PR -- Phillip Buchanon, Miami
 

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