McGuire earns Freshmen All-American status
The 13th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team has been announced, led by Louisiana-Lafayette freshman Elijah McGuire and two members of teams that participated in Monday’s VIZIO BCS National Championship Game, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
McGuire, a 5-11, 185-pound running back from Houma, is the lone Sun Belt student-athlete on the team.
A first team All-Sun Belt selection, McGuire ranked fourth in the conference in rushing, carrying 103 times for 863 yards, a nation’s-best 8.4 average and seven touchdowns while catching 22 passes for 384 yards and three scores. He had a team-high 16 plays of 20 yards or better this season.
McGuire had four 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 137 yards and three touchdowns against Nicholls State in his Cajun Field debut.
At Georgia State on Nov. 16, he became one of just four players in the nation this year and the first in school history to rush for 100 yards and catch passes for 100 yards in the same game.
Winston, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, became the second quarterback to be named to both the FWAA All-America Team and its Freshman All-America Team, following the footsteps of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel a season ago.
North Carolina kick returner Ryan Switzer also was named to both FWAA All-America teams.
Only three other players have earned a spot on both teams: Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson (2004); and Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Missouri wide receiver/return specialist Jeremy Maclin (2007).
The FWAA has named a Freshman All-America team since the 2001 season.
Malzahn, in his first season as the head coach at Auburn, claimed the first-year coaching honors after his Tigers completed a 12-1 regular season to claim the Southeastern Conference title.