2011 CFN All-Sophomore Team
USC WR Robert Woods
USC WR Robert Woods
Posted Dec 15, 2011

Who were the best second-year players in college football this season?

2011 All-Sophomore Team


- CFN Sophomore All-America Teams 2010 | 2009 
- 2011 CFN Freshman All-America Offense | Defense & Special Teams 

Write-ups By Richard Cirminiello  

- 2011 CFN Sophomore All-America Defense & Special Teams   

Offensive Sophomore of the Year:
WR Robert Woods, USC

First Team

QB Aaron Murray, Georgia
After laying the groundwork in his rookie year, Murray has continued his development for the SEC East champion Bulldogs. Surrounded by a supporting cast comprised mostly of unproven youngsters, No. 11 assumed more of a leadership role, especially after his team started the year 0-2. With the Outback Bowl still left to be played, the cagey, meticulous hurler has completed 218-of-371 passes for 2,861 yards, a school-record 33 touchdowns and a dozen picks.

RB Marcus Coker, Iowa
The 6-0, 230-pound Coker picked up where he left off in last year's Insight Bowl, rummaging his way to 1,384 yards and 15 scores on the ground. A punishing runner between the tackles, the second-year recruit out of Maryland has become an ideal fit for the blue-collar Hawkeyes system. While the Jerome Bettis incarnation won't beat many defenders in a footrace, he's more than capable of breaking through tackles, stiff-arming defenders into the grass and gaining more yards after contact.

RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
In Stillwater, they like their running backs to be versatile playmakers out of the backfield and in the passing game. In 2011, Randle evolved into just what the Gundy ordered. The successor to Kendall Hunter reveled in a starring role, rushing for 1,193 yards and 23 touchdowns, while chipping in another 38 receptions for 238 yards and two scores. He gets to the hole with little wasted movement, and will use his speed to jet through the opposing secondary.

WR Marquess Wilson, Washington State
Welcome to the Palouse, Mike Leach. And as a housewarming gift, you get to coach Wilson for the second half of his college career. Despite playing with three different quarterbacks this fall, the big-play receiver still managed to haul in a Pac-12-high 82 passes for 1,388 yards and a dozen touchdowns. Well on his way to becoming the most prolific pass-catcher in Wazzu history, he adjust well to balls in the air, and employs a long gait to get behind defensive backs.

WR Robert Woods, USC
In the long history of talented Trojans wide receivers, none has authored a more prolific first two years than Woods … ever. His production has been staggering, including a school and conference-record 111 receptions for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns this past season. However, he's a lot more than just the numbers, running polished routes, and flashing the speed to pile on yards after the catch. On the verge of becoming a complete receiver, with a future on Sundays, he's as dangerous on quick slants as he is on fly patterns.

TE Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
Escobar arrived on the Mesa as a 6-6 wide receiver, added weight to better fit Brady Hoke's pro-style attack and developed into one of the game's best young pass-catching tight ends. Now up to 245 pounds, and no less skilled as an athlete, he's become a handful down the seam for opposing linebackers. The Aztecs' second-leading receiver this fall has turned 47 receptions into 710 yards, seven scores and a spot on the All-Mountain West First team.

OL Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
Bailey is already one of the game's dominant young guards, excelling at bullying his man on running plays. A starter in every game of his Razorbacks career, he was honored at the beginning of the month with inclusion on the All-SEC Second Team. The 6-5, 319-pounder has been an integral cog in the success of one of the country's highest scoring offenses.

OL Chris Faulk, LSU
In his third season on campus, Faulk replaced Joseph Barksdale, and handled the tall task of protecting the blind side of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. And did it well. The 6-6, 325-pound former five-star recruit earned a spot on the All-SEC Second Team in his first year as a full-timer, doing his part for a unit that leads the conference in sacks allowed. Because of his size and immense strength, he has a tendency to engulf opposing pass rushers looking to get into the backfield.

OL Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
In 2009, Frederick became the first Badgers true freshman in school history to start an opener along the offensive line. In 2010, he started four more games—two at guard and two at center—before redshirting due to a glut of fine linemen in Madison. This past fall, he emerged as one of the Big Ten's toughest blockers, landing on the all-conference second team at guard. The powerful, 6-4, 330-pounder is a prototypical road-grader, with the smarts to play multiple positions on the inside.

OL Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
Upon leaving high school, Ikard was considered to be one of the nation's top prep tight ends. Upon adding a bunch of weight, and boning up on a new position, he's become one of the top blockers in the Big 12. In fact, the Sooners' guard, who can shift inside to play center, was named to the all-league first team earlier in the month. A quick study and skilled technician, he'll continue to hone his game over the second half of his career.

OL Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
As a rookie in 2010, Joeckel underwent some painful on-the-job training. This past fall, the student gradually started becoming the teacher in his second season in College Station. At 6-6 and 310 pounds, he possesses the light feet and long arms to effectively seal off the edge on opposing pass rushers. He also plays with the nasty streak and assertiveness to blow the other guy off the ball on running downs. After making the All-Big 12 Second Team this year, he's already eyeing loftier goals in 2012.

Second Team 

QB James Franklin, Missouri

RB Michael Dyer, Auburn
RB Ronnie Hillman , San Diego State

WR Keenan Allen , Cal
WR Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee

TE Jacob Pedersen , Wisconsin

OL David Bakhtiari , Colorado
OL James Hurst , North Carolina
OL Gabe Jackson , Mississippi State
OL Taylor Lewan , Michigan
OL Spencer Long , Nebraska

Honorable Mention
QB: Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Derek Carr (Fresno State), James Franklin (Missouri), AJ McCarron (Alabama), Casey Pachall (TCU), Keith Price (Washington), Tanner Price (Wake Forest), Tommy Rees (Notre Dame), Bryn Renner (North Carolina), Nathan Scheelhaase (Illinois), Matt Schilz (Bowling Green), Tyler Tettleton (Ohio), Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech)

RB: Le'Veon Bell (Michigan State), Orleans Darkwa (Tulane), Ja'Terian Douglas (Tulsa), Michael Ford (LSU), Stephen Houston (Indiana), Waymon James (TCU), Eddie Lacy (Alabama), Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina), Raymond Maples (Army), Lamar Miller (Miami), Chris Nwoke (Colorado State), Branden Oliver (Buffalo), Silas Redd (Penn State), Kedrick Rhodes (Florida International), Charles Sims (Houston), Fitzgerald Toussaint (Michigan), Spencer Ware (LSU), Trey Watts (Tulsa)

WR: Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin), Stedman Bailey (West Virginia), Josh Boyce (TCU), Noel Grigsby (San Jose State), Nick Harwell (Miami U.), Cody Hoffman (BYU), DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson), Colin Lockett (San Diego State), Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt), Tevin Reese (Baylor), Jaz Reynolds (Oklahoma), Paul Richardson (Colorado), Jalen Saunders (Fresno State), Kenny Stills (Oklahoma), Eric Thomas (Troy), Eric Ward (Texas Tech)

TE: Zach Ertz (Stanford), Crockett Gillmore (Colorado State), Michael LaGrone (Idaho), Gabe Linehan (Boise State), Jordan Reed (Florida), Levine Toilolo (Stanford)

OL: D.J. Fluker (Alabama), John Fullington (Washington State), Kevin Graf (USC), Trey Hopkins (Texas), Wesley Johnson (Vanderbilt), Zac Kerin (Toledo), Tyler Larsen (Utah State), Jake Matthews (Texas A&M), Jack Mewhort (Ohio State), Morgan Moses (Virginia), Andrew Norwell (Ohio State), Houston Reynolds (BYU), Cyril Richardson (Baylor), Weston Richburg (Colorado State), Anthony Steen (Alabama), Travis Swanson (Arkansas), Mason Walters (Texas)

- 2011 CFN Sophomore All-America Defense & Special Teams