CLEMSON, S.C. — With the announcement of the 2020 Walter Camp All-America Team on Thursday evening, all five All-America teams recognized by the NCAA toward consensus status have been formally recognized for the 2020 football season. Three Clemson players earned at least one first- or second-team All-America selection, including running back Travis Etienne earning consensus All-America status as an All-Purpose/Athlete honoree.
Presently, All-America teams recognized by the NCAA include ones awarded by the Associated Press (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News (SN) and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF). To earn consensus status, players must appear on the first team of at least three of the five lists, with unanimous status being reserved for those who appear on all five.
With Etienne earning the title of consensus All-American in 2020, Clemson has now produced a consensus All-American in each of the last three years (Clelin Ferrell, Mitch Hyatt and Christian Wilkins in 2018; Isaiah Simmons and John Simpson in 2019). At least one Clemson player has been honored with consensus All-America status in nine of Dabo Swinney’s 12 full seasons as Clemson’s head coach.
Notes on each’s player’s selections are included below.
AFCA – Second Team (Running Back)AP – First Team (All-Purpose)FWAA – First Team (All-Purpose)SN – First Team (Athlete)WCFF – Second Team (Running Back)
With first-team selections by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News, Travis Etienne became the 29th player ever to earn consensus All-America honors at Clemson. It marks the 31st total consensus selection for Clemson, as safety Terry Kinard earned consensus status in 1981 and 1982 and defensive end Vic Beasley earned consensus honors in both 2013 and 2014. Etienne joins Terrence Flagler (1986) and C.J. Spiller (2009) as the only running backs in school history to be named consensus All-Americans.
Etienne also became the fifth player in Clemson history to be a three-time first-team All-America honoree, joining middle guard William Perry (1982-84), linebacker Anthony Simmons (1995-97), wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2011-13) and defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (2016-18).
With his second-team selection by the American Football Coaches Association at running back, Etienne (2018-20) joined Wilkins, Houston’s Ed Oliver and Georgia’s Herschel Walker as the only three-time AFCA FBS Coaches’ All-Americans in the 76-year history of the team. Walker earned his All-America honors from 1980 to 1982, while Wilkins and Oliver earned their picks from 2016 to 2018.
Etienne’s versatility as an all-purpose player was on display in 2020. With 914 rushing yards and 588 receiving yards in 2020, Etienne became only the fourth Power Five Conference player since 2015 to record 900 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season, joining Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey (2015), Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon (2016) and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley (2017).
AFCA – Second TeamAP – Third TeamFWAA – First TeamWCFF – Second Team
To culminate a decorated three-year career in which he posted a 34-2 record as a starting quarterback, three ACC Championships, three College Football Playoff appearances, two National Championship Game berths and one national title and was routinely called the face of college football and presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence earned first-team All-America honors for the first time in his career in 2020, as the Football Writers Association of America was the only one of the five NCAA-recognized selectors to vote him to its first team.
Lawrence’s first-team selection by the FWAA could prove critical historically, as the College Football Hall of Fame mandates that potential inductees earn first-team All-America recognition at least once from a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams to be eligible. By virtue of that selection, Lawrence will be eligible for that honor 10 years following the conclusion of his collegiate career.
Lawrence joins Tajh Boyd (2012) and Deshaun Watson (2015) as the only quarterbacks in school history to earn first-team All-America honors. Lawrence was a finalist for a bevy of on-field honors in 2020 in addition to being honored for his off-field contributions as well. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Manning Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, while also being a finalist for the Bobby Bowden Trophy and earning a selection to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
AFCA – Second Team
Safety Nolan Turner earned a second-team All-America selection from the American Football Coaches Association for a redshirt senior campaign that represented his first season as a full-time starter. In addition to the second-team selection by one of the NCAA-recognized selectors toward consensus status, Turner also secured a second-team All-America selection from USA Today.
Turner’s selection gives Clemson an All-America safety for a second straight year, as Tanner Muse earned a third-team nod from the Associated Press in 2019. It’s the first time Clemson has had a safety honored by NCAA-recognized selectors in consecutive seasons since 1981-82, when Terry Kinard parlayed first-team honors by the AP and FWAA in 1981 into unanimous All-American honors in 1982.
In addition, defensive lineman Bryan Bresee and defensive end Myles Murphy earned freshman All-America honors from The Athletic. The 2020 Football Writers Association of American Freshman All-America Team is still pending.
Bresee’s impactful debut campaign resulted in his selection by the league’s coaches and media as the 2020 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, Clemson’s first since defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence in 2016. Murphy was named as the Associated Press’ ACC Co-Newcomer of the Year, an honor he shared with Miami redshirt senior transfer quarterback D’Eriq King.