Steve Emtman, who won the 1991 Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award when he was consensus first-team All-America, is the University of Washington’s only representative on the 75th Anniversary All-America Team announced Thursday by the Football Writers Association of America. The FWAA, which has selected All-America teams since 1944, designated Emtman a third-team choice at defensive tackle.
The FWAA picked first, second and third teams from the period World War II through 2014.
A Cheney, WA., native, Emtman played for the Huskies from 1988-91 and is generally regarded as the greatest defensive player in school history, if not the best player period. He concluded his career by helping lead Washington to a share of the national championship in 1991. In 1992, the Indianapolis Colts made Emtman the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
The FWAA selected Lee Roy Selmon of Oklahoma and Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska as first-team defensive tackles and Utah State’s Merlin Olsen and Maryland’s Randy White as second teamers. Tennessee’s Reggie White joined Emtman on the third team.
Washington’s biggest snub was PK Chuck Nelson, a consensus All-America in 1982 when he established more than 30 NCAA records. The FWAA picked Kevin Butler of Georgia (first team), Mason Crosby of Colorado (second) and Tony Franklin of Texas A&M (third) as its kickers.
The Pac-12 placed six players on the three squads in addition to Emtman, only two on the first team: T Ron Yary and DB Ronnie Lott of USC. UCLA T Jonathan Ogden, Bruins’ DB Kenny Easley and Colorado’s Crosby made the second team, and USC DB Troy Polamalu the third.
The Big Ten dominated the selections, placing 19 players on the 75-man squad. The Atlantic Coast has 15 players represented, the Southeast Conference 13 and the Big 12 10.
Among individual schools, Nebraska had the most players, six. Ohio State and Pittsburgh both had five while Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas each had four.
Three of the 75th Anniversary All-America players spent time with the Seahawks: Easley (1981-87, second team), Oklahoma LB Brian Bosworth (1987-89, second) and Michigan DB Dave Brown (1976-86, third).
This was a tough squad to make: Five football legends — QB Johnny Unitas, TE John Mackey, LB Chuck Bednarik, LB Ted Hendricks and QB/RB Paul Hornung — after whom major postseason awards are named did not make the All-Awesome team.
Navy’s Roger Staubach (first), Florida’s Tim Tebow (second) and Nebraska’s Tommy Frazier (third) were selected as quarterbacks, leaving no room for the likes of John Elway (Stanford), Andrew Luck (Stanford) and Marcus Mariota (Oregon), to cite three from the Pac-12.
Archie Griffin (Ohio State) and Herschel Walker (Georgia) are the first-team running backs, followed by Pittsburgh’s Tony Dorsett and Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders (second team) and Auburn’s Bo Jackson and SMU’s Doak Walker (third team).
Among the snubbed: O.J. Simpson and Marcus Allen, both Heisman Trophy winners from USC, and Earl Campbell, a Heisman winner (1977) from Texas.