QB Dennis Dixon, Oregon, Sr., 6-4/205 HIGH SCHOOL: San Leandro (Calif.) High BUZZ: Dixon may have meant more to his team than any other player in the nation. He threw for 2,136 yards with 20 touchdowns and only four interceptions while also rushing for 583 yards and nine scores. He was directing one of the nation's most explosive offenses before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament. Oregon has scored just one touchdown in seven quarters since his departure.
RB Jamaal Charles, Texas, Jr., 6-1/200 HIGH SCHOOL: Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial BUZZ: Charles has rushed for a Big 12-leading 1,458 yards and is tied for the conference lead with 16 touchdown runs. He gained 644 yards during a three-game stretch against Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Charles ran for 216 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone as the Longhorns rallied to beat Nebraska.
RB Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois, Jr., 5-11/224 HIGH SCHOOL: Skokie (Ill.) Niles West BUZZ: Mendenhall leads the Big Ten with 1,526 total rushing yards (Michigan's Mike Hart has a higher average per game) and ranks eighth in the nation with an average of 127.2 yards per game. He averages 6.2 yards per carry and exceeded the 200-yard mark against Indiana and Minnesota.
WR Harry Douglas, Louisville, Sr., 5-11/170 HIGH SCHOOL: Jonesboro (Ga.) High BUZZ: Douglas caught 70 passes for 1,113 yards and seven touchdowns – including back-to-back 200-yard games against Kentucky and Syracuse – despite missing two games with a sprained ankle. He needs 169 receiving yards in his final game this week to break the Big East record of 3,003 career receiving yards, set by Pittsburgh's Dietrich Jells in 1995.
WR Davone Bess, Hawaii, Jr., 5-10/190 HIGH SCHOOL: Oakland Skyline BUZZ: Bess ranks second among all active receivers with 281 career catches and 3,508 career receiving yards. He has 96 catches for 1,164 yards and 12 TDs this season, and ranks fourth in the nation in catches per game. Bess has caught at least 10 passes in five games this season. He had 15 receptions for 181 yards and two TDs against Boise State.
TE Fred Davis, USC, Sr., 6-4/250 HIGH SCHOOL: Toledo (Ohio) Rogers BUZZ: Davis has 49 catches for 753 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Trojans in all three categories. His average of 15.4 yards per catch leads all tight ends in the nation. Davis is one catch away from Joe Cormier's school record of 105 career catches by a tight end. With two games remaining, he should set the mark easily.
OT Ryan Clady, Boise State, Jr., 6-6/317 HIGH SCHOOL: Rialto (Calif.) Eisenhower BUZZ: This three-year starter anchors the line for a Boise State team that ranks fifth in the nation in scoring with 42.8 points per game. The Broncos are ninth in the nation in total offense with 475.7 yards per game.
OT John Greco, Toledo, Sr., 6-5/318 HIGH SCHOOL: Boardman (Ohio) High BUZZ: Greco started at left tackle this year and was the top performer on a line that allowed just 16 sacks and helped the Rockets average 5 yards per carry. Greco has earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors each of the past three seasons.
OG Anthony Parker, Tennessee, Jr., 6-3/305 HIGH SCHOOL: Lovejoy (Ga.) High BUZZ: Parker's versatility has allowed him to play guard and tackle for the Volunteers. After playing primarily right guard last season, he moved to left guard this year and played a vital role on a Tennessee line that gave up only four sacks all season, the fewest number allowed by any team in the nation.
OG Roy Schuening, Oregon State, Sr., 6-4/318 HIGH SCHOOL: Pendleton (Ore.) High BUZZ: Schuening will break a school record Saturday when he makes his 49th consecutive start. He is so durable that he started against Stanford this year even after coming down with walking pneumonia the week of the game. He also was versatile enough to move to right tackle late this season after starting the first nine games at right guard.
C Adam Spieker, Missouri, Sr., 6-3/305 HIGH SCHOOL: Webb City (Mo.) High BUZZ: Spieker and teammate Martin Rucker will set a school record this weekend when they make their 49th consecutive starts. Spieker, a four-year starter, has helped Mizzou rank fifth in the nation in total offense (507.3 yards per game) and sixth in scoring (41.9 points per game).
Rivals.com 2007 All-America Third Team Defense
DE Lawrence Jackson, USC, Sr., 6-5/270 HIGH SCHOOL: Inglewood (Calif.) High BUZZ: Jackson has 52 tackles – 13 for losses – and 9.5 sacks while playing his best in the Trojans' biggest games. He recorded 11 tackles in a loss to Oregon and delivered four sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss last week in a victory over Arizona State.
DE Nick Reed, Oregon, Jr., 6-2/255 HIGH SCHOOL: Mission Viejo (Calif.) High BUZZ: Reed ranks third in the nation in tackles for loss per game and ninth in sacks per game. He has 12 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss to go along with 51 overall tackles. Reed delivered 3.5 sacks each in victories over Washington State and Arizona State.
DT James McClinton, Kansas, Sr., 6-1/283 HIGH SCHOOL: Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial BUZZ: McClinton has 38 total tackles – 11 for losses – along with 2.5 sacks and one interception. His presence in the middle of the line has helped Kansas allow just 91.4 rushing yards per game to rank seventh in the nation against the run.
DT Vance Walker, Georgia Tech, Jr., 6-2/275 HIGH SCHOOL: Fort Mill (S.C.) High BUZZ: Walker is a major reason Georgia Tech leads the nation in sacks and ranks second in tackles for loss. Walker has recorded 43 total tackles – 14 for losses – and 8.5 sacks. He also has forced three fumbles.
LB Shawn Crable, Michigan, Sr., 6-5/245 HIGH SCHOOL: Massillon (Ohio) Washington BUZZ: Crable ranks second in the nation with 26.5 tackles for loss, including five against Northwestern and four against Notre Dame. He has recorded at least half a tackle for loss in each of his games this season. Crable also has 7.5 sacks, a team-high 84 overall tackles and four forced fumbles.
LB Erin Henderson, Maryland, Jr., 6-2/236 HIGH SCHOOL: Aberdeen (Md.) High BUZZ: Henderson withstood a variety of injuries to post his second consecutive 100-tackle season. He has an ACC-leading 114 tackles and ranks eighth in the nation at 11.1 tackles per game. Henderson also has 11 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
LB Robert James, Arizona State, Sr., 5-11/229 HIGH SCHOOL: Phoenix Maryvale BUZZ: James has 94 tackles – eight for losses – and four interceptions to spark the resurgence of Arizona State's defense this season. He delivered 4.5 tackles for loss in an early season victory over Colorado and picked off two passes in a come-from-behind win over league foe Oregon State.
CB Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech, Jr., 5-10/200 HIGH SCHOOL: Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic BUZZ: Flowers has teamed with Victor Harris to give Virginia Tech one of the nation's best cornerback tandems. Flowers has 72 tackles – seven for losses – and five interceptions for the nation's fourth-ranked pass efficiency defense. He has picked off four passes in his past five games for the 10-2 Hokies.
CB Terrence Wheatley, Colorado, Sr., 5-10/175 HIGH SCHOOL: Plano (Texas) East BUZZ: Wheatley picked off three passes in an upset of Texas Tech and scored on a 35-yard interception return against Arizona State. He finished the regular season with 36 tackles, five interceptions and eight pass breakups.
SS Kenny Phillips, Miami, Jr., 6-2/210 HIGH SCHOOL: Miami Carol City BUZZ: The latest in a long line of standout Miami safeties has collected 82 tackles with two interceptions and three forced fumbles. Miami doesn't distinguish between the two safety positions, but we're including him as a strong safety for the purpose of this team.
FS Jamie Silva, Boston College, Sr., 5-11/210 HIGH SCHOOL: East Providence (R.I.) High BUZZ: Silva leads all Atlantic Coast Conference defensive backs with 110 tackles. He also has five interceptions for the Eagles this season. He picked off three passes against North Carolina State and two more against Bowling Green.
Rivals.com 2007 All-America Third Team Specialists
K Jason Reda, Illinois, Sr., 6-1/204 HIGH SCHOOL: Rock Island (Ill.) High BUZZ: Reda is 15 of 16 on field-goal attempts and is a perfect 3-for-3 from at least 50 yards. He made a 51-yarder against Minnesota and connected from 50 yards out against Syracuse and Wisconsin. His only missed field-goal attempt was from 47 yards.
P Brett Kern, Toledo, Sr., 6-3/195 HIGH SCHOOL: Grand Island (N.Y.) High BUZZ: Kern ranks second in the nation with an average of 46.1 yards per punt. He has landed 17 of his 52 attempts inside the opponent's 20-yard line, which has helped enable Toledo to lead the nation in net punting.
KR Matt Slater, UCLA, Sr., 6-0/198 HIGH SCHOOL: Anaheim (Calif.) Servite BUZZ: Slater ranks fifth in the nation with a kickoff return average of 30.9 yards, which includes three touchdowns. He scored on an 85-yard return against Washington, a 100-yard return against Arizona and an 89-yard return against Arizona State.
PR Kevin Robinson, Utah State, Sr., 6-0/199 HIGH SCHOOL: Fresno (Calif.) Hoover BUZZ: Robinson leads the nation with his average of 18.9 yards per punt return, which includes a 70-yard touchdown against Nevada. He also ranks 11th in the nation with a kickoff return average of 29.3 that includes touchdowns against San Jose State, Hawaii and New Mexico State. He's the only player to rank among the nation's top 17 players in both return categories. He also has 55 receptions for 640 yards and five TDs.
ALL-PURPOSE Chad Hall, Air Force, Sr., 5-8/180 HIGH SCHOOL: Norcross (Ga.) Wesleyan BUZZ: Hall has rushed for 1,415 yards and 14 touchdowns this season and caught 46 passes for 488 yards and one touchdown. Hall also averages 12.6 yards per punt return and 23.6 yards per kickoff return. He is 79 yards away from Beau Morgan's single-season school rushing record and already is Air Force's leader in career all-purpose yards with 4,019.