2012 CFN All-America Defense & Special Teams
Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene
Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene
Posted Jan 13, 2013

2012 CollegeFootballNews.com All-America Defense, Special Teams and Top Players

CFN 2012 All-America Team

Defense & Special Teams

- ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | MAC
- Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC

- 2012 CFN Freshman All-America Offense & Defense & Special Teams  
- 2012 CFN Sophomore All-America Offense & Defense & Special Teams   

2012 CFN Preseason All-Americans & Top 30 Players 
1st Team Offense | 2nd Team Offense | 3rd Team Offense | Special Teamers 

2012 All-American Offense 

Defensive Linemen

2012 CFN First-Team All-Americans

1. DE Jadeveon Clowney, Soph. South Carolina

Others had more sacks, but no lineman came up with as many highlight reel plays or had to be keyed on more. The 13 sacks were terrific, as were the three forced fumbles and 54 tackles, with a consistent year that will make him the spotlight star of the 2013 season.

2. DT Will Sutton, Jr. Arizona State

Devastating as an interior pass rusher, Sutton finished tied for third in the nation with 13 sacks to go along with 63 tackles and 23.5 tackles for loss. Always working, he finished off his season, and his college career, with 3.5 tackles for loss with 2.5 sacks in the blowout win over Navy.

3. DE Damontre Moore, Jr. Texas A&M

While his production tailed off over the last three games - coming up with just one tackle for loss and no sacks - he was unstoppable at times over the first ten games to finish with 12.5 sacks with 21 tackles for loss and consistent quarterback pressures.

4. DT Jesse Williams, Sr. Alabama

Forget about the stats and the totals - they don't tell the story of what Williams meant to the Tide defense. While there were a few issues late in the year, Alabama still finished No. 1 in total defense, scoring defense and run defense, helped by its rock in the middle to work around. In the Tide's 3-4 alignment, the nose tackle has to be an immovable object, and that was Williams.

2012 CFN Second-Team All-Americans
5. DE Alex Okafor, Sr. Texas
6. DE Stephon Tuitt, Soph. Notre Dame
7. DE Jamie Collins, Sr. Southern Miss
8. DE John Simon, Sr. Ohio State

2012 CFN Third-Team All-American
9. DE Sam Montgomery, Jr. LSU
10. DE Quanterus Smith, Sr. WKU
11. DE Devonte Fields, Fr. TCU  
12. DT John Jenkins, Sr. Georgia

2012 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
13. DE Bjoern Werner, Jr. Florida State
14. DT Johnathan Hankins, Jr. Ohio State
15. DT Shariff Floyd, Jr. Florida


2012 CFN First-Team All-Americans

1. Jarvis Jones, Jr. Georgia

This might have been the year of Manti Te'o as a top defender, but Jones was more productive and just plain better overall. The Georgia star led the nation in tackles for loss with 24.5 and sacks with 14.5. No defender changed games around like he did, destroying Missouri with two sacks, two forced fumbles and a big interception return, and he came up with a classic against Florida making 12.5 tackles with three sacks and two forced fumbles.

2. Manti Te'o, Sr. Notre Dame

Try to ignore the whiff-fest in the BCS championship - even with the ten tackles he came up with against Alabama. Along with seven interceptions and 113 tackles, he was the leader and star of a top defense that managed to gut out close game after close game on the way to the BCS championship game. He might not have been the best linebacker in America, but it could be argued that he was the signature star - at least defensively - of the regular season.

3. Khaseem Greene, Sr. Rutgers

Just a year removed from a grisly leg injury, he came back roaring to lead the Big East in tackles  while registering 5.5 sacks with six forced fumbles. A guided missile of a playmaker, he came up with 22 stops against Army, 15 against Tulane and 14 against Syracuse, but more than that, he was the leader of a tremendous defense. The Scarlet Knights might have lost to Virginia Tech in the bowl, but he did his part with 11 tackles, a half a sack, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery for a score.

2012 CFN Second-Team All-American
4. Kevin Minter, Jr. LSU
5. Khalil Mack, Jr. Buffalo
6. Eric Kendricks, Soph. UCLA

2012 CFN Third-Team All-American
7. Phillip Steward, Sr. Houston
8. Kyle Van Noy, Jr. BYU
9. DeAundre Brown, Sr. Tulsa

2012 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
10. Dan Molls, Sr. Toledo
11. A.J. Klein, Sr. Iowa State
12. A.J. Johnson, Soph. Tennessee
13. Mike Taylor, Sr. Wisconsin
14. Marvin Burdette, Sr. UAB
15. Ryan Shazier, Jr. Ohio State

Defensive Backs

2012 CFN First-Team All-Americans

1. CB Jason Verrett, Jr. TCU

A superior all-around playmaker, he was second in the nation in broken up passes per game, making 16 overall, to go along with six interceptions. Not just good when the ball was in the air, he was a tough tackler coming up with 63 stops including 12 in the bowl loss to Michigan State. As consistent as any defensive back in America, he also came up big time and again against the better passing teams.

2. CB Dee Milliner, Jr. Alabama

The most talented corner in the country - as the NFL draft will soon show - Milliner proved he could do it all, covering the speed receivers on an island on a regular basis, while handling himself well against Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in the national championship. On the year he came up with 22 broken up passes with 54 tackles and two picks - he was all over the field.

3. S Matt Elam, Jr. Florida

He all but sealed his All-America selection in the win over LSU, coming up with seven tackles with a key forced fumble. While the Gators were disastrous against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, he showed up with 11 tackles with a sack to finish with 76 tackles, four picks and 11 tackles for loss.

4. SS Phillip Thomas, Sr. Fresno State

Thomas was the ultimate playmaker with a nation-leading eight picks with three scores - two against Colorado - while also coming up with 84 tackles, a team-leading 12 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. The defense might have been awful in the bowl clunker against SMU, and he wasn't great with two tackles with a broken up pass, but the rest of his season was Thorpe-worthy.

2012 CFN Second-Team All-Americans
5. S Tony Jefferson, Jr. Oklahoma
6. CB Logan Ryan, Jr. Rutgers
7. S Kenny Vaccaro, Sr. Texas
8. S Eric Reid, Jr. LSU

2012 CFN Third-Team All-Americans
9. CB Xavier Rhodes, Jr. Florida State
10. CB Jordan Poyer, Sr. Oregon State
11. S Dexter McCoil, Sr. Tulsa
12. CB Johnthan Banks, Sr. Mississippi State

2012 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
13. S Calvin Pryor, Soph. Louisville
14. CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Sr. Connecticut
15. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Soph. Oregon


2012 CFN First-Team All-American

1. Cairo Santos, Jr. Tulane

Not only did Santos nail all 21 of his field goal attempts, but he cranked out some bombs - while there was one missed extra point, the almost perfect season wasn't cheap. He connected on a 57-yarder against Rice and a 54-yard shot against ULM, going 12-of-12 from 40+.

2012 CFN Second-Team All-American
2. Quinn Sharp, Sr. Oklahoma State

2012 CFN Third-Team All-American
3. Caleb Sturgis, Jr. Florida

2012 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
4. Dustin Hopkins, Sr. Florida State
5. Jeff Budzien, Jr. Northwestern
6. Chandler Catanzaro, Jr. Clemson
7. Steven Schott, Sr. Ball State
8. Jeremiah Detmer, Soph. Toledo
9. Nate Freese, Jr. Boston College
10. Austin Lopez, Fr. San Jose State
11. Brett Baer, Sr. Louisiana-Lafayette
12. Ross Martin, Fr. Duke
13. Anthony Cantele, Sr. Kansas State
14. Carey Spear, Jr. Vanderbilt
15. Mike Meyer, Jr. Iowa


2012 CFN First-Team All-American

1. Ryan Allen, Sr. Louisiana Tech

The Ray Guy winner blasted away for a team with an offense that didn't need a ton of bailing out. He cranked out 48 yards per kick with a whopping 20 put inside the 20.

2012 CFN Second-Team All-American
2. Kyle Cristy, Soph. Florida

2012 CFN Third-Team All-American
3. Josh Hubner, Sr. Arizona State

2012 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
4. Quinn Sharp, Sr. Oklahoma State
5. Pete Kontodiakos, Sr. Colorado State
6. Richie Leone, Jr. Houston
7. Riley Stephenson, Sr. BYU
8. Dylan Breeding, Sr. Arkansas
9. Brandon McManus, Sr. Temple
10. Alex Dunnachie, Sr. Hawaii
11. Mike Sadler, Soph. Michigan State
12. Darragh O'Neill, Soph. Colorado
13. Cayle Chapman-brown, Jr. New Mexico State
14. Richard Kent, Sr. Vanderbilt
15. Brad Wing, Soph. LSU

Kick Returners

 2012 CFN First-Team All-American
1. Duke Johnson Fr. Miami

2012 CFN Second-Team All-American
2. Mike Edwards, Jr. Hawaii

2012 CFN Third-Team All-American
3. Quincy McDuffie, Sr. UCF

2012 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
4. Marqise Lee, Soph. USC
5. Tyler Lockett, Soph. Kansas State
6. Bernard Reedy, Jr. Toledo
7. D.J. Banks, Jr. Louisiana Tech
8. Chase Clayton, Soph. New Mexico
9. Reggie Whatley, Soph. Middle Tennessee
10. Tobias Palmer, Sr. NC State

Punt Returners

First Team All-American
1. Tremaine Thompson, Jr. Kansas State

2012 CFN Second-Team All-American American
2. Ace Sanders, Jr. South Carolina

2012 CFN Third-Team All-American
3. Marcus Murphy, Soph. Missouri

2012 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
4. Dustin Harris, Sr. Texas A&M
5. Antonio Andrews, Jr. WKU
6. Scott Harding, Soph. Hawaii
7. Corey Brown, Jr. Ohio State
8. Matt Brown, Sr. Temple
9. Jamal Golden, Soph. Georgia Tech
10. Odell Beckham, Soph. LSU

2012 CFN All-America Offense