2006 Preseason All-Americans - Safeties
Miami S Brandon Meriweather
Posted Aug 26, 2006

2006 CFN All-America Safeties  

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2006 CFN Preseason First Team All-Americans
LaRon Landry, Sr. LSU - 69 tackles, 1 sack, 4 TFL, 3 interceptions, 8 broken up passes
One of the nation's best free safeties over the last few seasons and a sure early round draft pick next year, he has the 6-2, 204 size, the 4.4 speed, and the résumé with 241 career tackles. He's a proven playmaker against the pass and a light-him-up highlight reel hitter. It'll be a shock if he's not in the hunt for SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Brandon Meriweather, Sr. Miami  - 115 tackles, 13 TFL, 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, 7 broken up passes
Meriweather is a big enough hitter to play strong safety and fast enough to be a major playmaker at free safety. He's one of the team's most experienced players with 40 career games of experience and 202 tackles, and now he should be on everyone's All-America list with the range to be a major factor against the pass and the speed to be a disruptive force in the backfield.

Preseason 25 Best Safeties
1. LaRon Landry, Sr. LSU
Brandon Meriweather, Sr., Miami
Michael Griffin, Sr., Texas
Eric Weddle, Sr. Utah
Kenny Phillips, Soph., Miami
Wesley Smith, Sr. Memphis
Tom Zbikowski, Sr. Notre Dame
Aaron Rouse, Sr., Virginia Tech
9. Joe Stellmacher, Sr. Wisconsin
10. Marcus Paschal, Sr. Iowa
Tyrell Johnson, Jr. Arkansas State
(CB) Reggie Nelson, Jr. Florida
13. Josh Gattis, Sr. Wake Forest

14. Eric Wicks, Sr. West Virginia
15. David Overstreet, Sr. Missouri
Sabby Piscitelli, Sr. Oregon State
17. J.D. Nelson, Sr. Oregon
18. C.J. Wallace, Sr. Washington
19. J.J. Billingsley, Sr. Colorado
Curtis Keyes, Sr. Marshall
Caleb Campbell, Jr. Army
Jonathan Hefney, Jr. Tennessee
23, Jamie Silva, Jr. Boston College

John Wendling. Sr. Wyoming
Kevin Payne, Sr. UL Monroe

2006 CFN Preseason Second Team All-Americans
Michael Griffin, Sr. Texas - 124 tackles, 4 interceptions, 8 broken up passes, 5 quarterback pressures, 3 fumble recoveries, 4 blocked kicks
238 career tackles isn't bad for a former running back. Michael Huff won the Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back last season, but it could be argued that Griffin had the better year. He's one of the nation's best defensive backs with next level playmaking ability and unlimited range. He's a master at blocking punts and is great at forcing turnovers. A sure tackler, he came up with 23 stops against Texas A&M and 14 against Baylor.
Eric Weddle, Sr. Utah  - 78 tackles, 4 sacks, 11 TFL, 3 interceptions, 12 broken up passes, 3 forced fumbles
One of the nation's best defensive backs over the last few seasons, Weddle has 213 career tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and nine sacks to go along with a boatload of big plays against the pass. He's a phenomenal all-around athlete who has seen time almost everywhere throughout his career from safety to cornerback to quarterback to punter to punt returner. A more natural corner who helped erase Georgia Tech star receiver Calvin Johnson from the gameplan in the Emerald Bowl, he'll start out at strong safety.

2006 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans

(in alphabetical order)

Marcus Paschal, Sr. Iowa - 62 tackles, 6 broken up passes
Paschal made a tremendous return from a torn ACL to become an honorable mention All-Big Ten playmaker finishing fifth on the team in tackles. He's a great hitter and a smart leader of the defensive secondary. Now that he's more than a year removed from the injury, he should show even more range and be an even bigger all-around playmaker.

Kenny Phillips, Soph. Miami  - 88 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 interception, 4 broken up passes
 He was as good as advertised. One of 2005's top recruits stepped and starred from the start showing off the 4.4 speed to be in on seemingly every play and the smarts of a long-time veteran. He's a good-sized hitter at 6-2 and 200 pounds with moves like a cornerback. 

Aaron Rouse, Sr. Virginia Tech
 - 77 tackles, 5 broken up passes, 4.5 TFL
Part linebacker and part safety, Rouse found a home last season in the defensive backfield finishing third on the team in tackles. He's a big 6-4 and 221 pounds who hits like a ton of bricks to go along with excellent speed and range. It'll be a shock if he's not one of the ACC’s best defenders.

Wesley Smith, Sr. Memphis - 82 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 3 broken up passes, 2 forced fumbles
One of the nation's best defensive backs over the last few seasons, the 6-3 Smith hits like a linebacker and covers like a corner. He's the unquestioned leader of the defense earning three straight first team All-Conference USA honors with 269 career tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks and five interceptions.

Joe Stellmacher, Sr. Wisconsin
 - 90 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 broken up passes
The Academic All-Big Ten performer should start to make more All-Big Ten noise on the field after earning honorable mention honors. He's a big 222-pound hitter who finished second on the team in tackles and isn't that bad against the pass. At his size, he's bigger than most of the team's linebackers.

Tom Zbikowski, Sr. Notre Dame - 71 tackles, 5 interceptions, 4 broken up passes, 1 sack
Easily one of the toughest players in America, the part-time boxer and full-time leader of the Irish defense has grown into a whale of a playmaker with 134 tackles over the last two years with six interceptions. He's also an elite punt returner averaging 14 yards per attempt with two touchdowns last season. He brings the attitude to the Irish defense.