Football Writers Association of America Jan. 8, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Griffith
17th annual team features 30 first-year stars
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ATLANTA (FWAA) – The 17th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team features two players taking part in tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm and right tackle Andrew Thomas are the Bulldogs’ eighth and ninth all-time FWAA Freshman All-America selections, the first at each of their respective positions.

Georgia beat writer Chip Towers compared Fromm to such Bulldogs’ quarterback greats as Matthew Stafford, Eric Zeier, David Greene and Aaron Murray.

“None of them played with the poise and the consistency that I have witnessed from Jake Fromm this season,” Towers told SEC Country. “That's reflected in his pass efficiency rating (166.4), which ranks fourth nationally, and also in Georgia's overall record (13-1). Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has given Fromm the latitude to change plays at the line of scrimmage, which is a reflection of his ability to process mountains of information and be able to regurgitate it on the fly in the heat of the moment.”

Thomas not only started every game, but he also played most every snap on the Georgia offensive line.

“What gave him the edge over a couple of 5-star prospects was exceptional technique, which he credits first to his training at Atlanta's Pace Academy High School,” Towers said. “Thomas also has the size, quickness and strength to match up with athletic defensive ends of the SEC. Look for him to make the move to left tackle for Georgia next season.”

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was selected as the FWAA First-Year Coach of the Year after leading the Sooners into the College Football Playoff in his first year at the helm.

Kenneth Murray also represented Oklahoma on the FWAA Freshman All-America team, one of four linebackers chosen.

The Big Ten led the FWAA with six players selected, followed by the SEC (5), the Pac-12 (4) and the ACC, Mountain West Conference and Conference USA, each of which had three players. The 10 FBS conferences are represented on the 30-man team, and there is also a player from an independent school.

The 13-person panel of nationally-prominent college football experts represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team.

Both true freshmen (20 players) and redshirt freshmen (10 players) were considered for the team and are so noted on the list below.

There are five former FWAA Freshman All-American selections playing in tonight’s game:

From Alabama
• All-SEC Punter JK Scott (2014)
• All-SEC WR Calvin Ridley (2015)

From Georgia
• All-SEC RB Nick Chubb (2014)
• TE Isaac Nautta (2016)
• K Rodrigo Blankenship (2016)

Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
QB Jake Fromm, Georgia 6-2 225 Warner Robins, Ga.
RB Spencer Brown, UAB 6-0 235 Kimberly, Ala.
RB AJ Dillon, Boston College 6-0 240 New London, Conn.
RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin 5-11 214 Salem, N.J.
WR Justin Hall, Ball State 5-9 160 Douglasville, Ga.
WR McLane Mannix, Nevada 5-10 175 Midland, Texas
WR JD Spielman, Nebraska 5-9 180 Eden Prairie, Minn.
TE Matt Bushman, BYU 6-5 230 Tucson, Ariz.
OT Alaric Jackson, Iowa 6-7 320 Detroit, Mich.
OT • Andrew Thomas, Georgia 6-5 320 Lithonia, Ga.
G Navaughn Donaldson, Miami 6-6 350 Miami, Fla.
G Trey Smith, Tennessee 6-6 320 Jackson, Tenn.
C Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin 6-3 316 Amherst, Wis.
Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
DE  Curtis Weaver, Boise State 6-3 252 Long Beach, Calif.
DE Kylan Wilborn, Arizona 6-2 245 Northridge, Calif.
DT  Ross Blacklock, TCU 6-4 326 Missouri City, Texas
DT Jordon Scott, Oregon 6-1 333 Largo, Fla.
LB Racheem Boothe, Southern Miss 6-0 210 Bassfield, Miss.
LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern 6-4 245 Katy, Texas
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma 6-2 242 Missouri City, Texas
LB Colin Schooler, Arizona 6-0 226 Dana Point, Calif.
DB T.J. Carter, Memphis 5-11 180 Nashville, Tenn.
DB Chase Lucas, Arizona State 6-0 156 Chandler, Ariz.
DB Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech 5-9 172 Thibodaux, La.
DB Tariq Thompson, San Diego State 6-0 190 San Diego, Calif.
DB Andraez "Greedy" Williams, LSU 6-2 181 Shreveport, La.
Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
P Pressley Harvin III, Georgia Tech 6-0 240 Alcolu, S.C.
K Jace Christmann, Mississippi State 6-0 195 Houston, Texas
KR Marcus Jones, Troy 5-9 170 Enterprise, Ala.
PR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan 6-2 199 Southfield, Mich.
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
• Denotes true freshman

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at

All-Time FWAA Freshman All-America Teams
2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

Shaun Alexander
Mark Anderson (MW)
Mark Blaudschun (ACC)
Scott Dochertman (Big Ten)
Andrew Greif (Pac-12)
Mike Griffith (Chair/Independents)
Tommy Hicks (Sun Belt)
Blair Kerkhoff (Big 12)
Doug Smock (Conference USA)
Ron Higgins (SEC)
John Wagner (MAC)
Mark Giannotto (American Athletic)
Steve Richardson