The All-Decade Athletic School football team has players who have competed in both the Circuit Championship Cup and the Football Championships.
Like the decade itself, this list is dominated by Nick Saban’s Alabama machine. A total of five Alabama players made the team for decades, led by Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. A total of 10 players from the Securities and Exchange Commission made the list – the majority of any conference.
MORE: Deshaun Watson, athlete of the decade
Sporting News remains one of the five publications used to determine the consent of all Americans, and most of them are the players who have dominated our prize lists. With that in mind, take a look at our Team for all decades:
Soccer college football Soccer team: Attack
QB: Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Why it’s here: Watson did not win a Heisman Trophy, but did elevate Clemson to an incredible three-year national championship that included 10,163 passing yards and 90 touchdowns along with 1,934 stairs and 26 more points. He finished with a 32-3 starter and were the two legendary performances against Alabama in the 2017 football soccer league game, which marked his career. Watson appropriately ended his career with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow that gave the Tigers a national championship.
With the numbers: In the two matchups against Alabama, Watson accounted for 941 yards of offense with eight total touchdowns. It adds another point for 38 yards.
RB: Derrick Henry, Alabama
Why it’s here: Henry ran for 2,219 yards in 2015 – a year in which he overshadowed LSU star Leonard Fournette to break the all-time SEC record. Henry was the ultimate horse to bring five games with 30 plus plus four games with 200 yards. Henry wanted the Yellow Tide in this national title.
With the numbers: Henry had 368 yards and six touchdowns in wins against LSU and Clemson in 2015.
RB: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Why it’s here: The Big Ten had to be in that group and we selected Barkley for Ezekiel Elliott (who led a national championship at State Ohio) and Melvin Gordon (who nearly broke Barry Sanders’ record for a single season). Barkley, however, got the nod with an incredible three-year career that includes 5,538 total seats and 53 total touchdowns. Maybe that mix of speed, power and playmaking might not look quite like Barkley’s.
With the numbers: Barkley’s most memorable performance may have been the loss of the Rose Bowl to USC, where it had 306 general purpose seats and three TDs.
WR: Amari Cooper, Alabama
Why it’s here: Alabama receivers Julio Jones and Jerry Jeudy could have made the list, but SN opted for Cooper – who destroyed school record books with an incredible junior season totaling 124 catches, 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. Lane Kiffin unlocks the potential with the star receiver and Cooper finished third in the Heisman vote at the time.
With the numbers: Cooper had nine multiple catch games in Alabama, where the Crimson Tide finished 8-1 in those games.
WR: Justin Blackmon, a member of the State of Oklahoma
Why it’s here: Blackmon set an FBS record with a series of 14 straight 100-yard games stretched through the seasons of 2010 and 2011. He continued a long tradition of great receivers in the state of Oklahoma with years of monster-back. The two-time Biletnikoff unanimous All-American winner ended his career with 3,564 yards and 40 touchdowns. Blackmon finished fifth in the 2010 Heisman vote.
With the numbers: Blackmon had 10 college games with all of the following: 10 or more catches, 100 or more yards and a touchdown.
TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
Why it’s here: Seferian-Jenkins was a consistent contributor to the Huskies’ offense for three seasons and was a reliable target in the red zone. He finished with 23 career receiving touchdowns, and had season-high receptions (69) and yardage (852) in 2012.
With the numbers: Seferian-Jenkins had eight fights with 75 or more sailors in Washington.
T: Luke Jokel, Texas A&M
Why it’s here: Joeckel started all 39 games for the Aggies and helped the program adjust to the SEC. Joeckel evolved into a 6-6, 309-bookend for Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. He won the Outland Trophy and was a unanimous American selection in 2012.
With the numbers: Texas A&M averaged 242.1 with Joeckel leading the way in 2012.
G: Pat Elflein, Ohio State
Why it’s here: Elflein played in 55 games at Ohio State after redshirting in 2012, moving from center guard to win the Rimington Prize in 2016. Elflein was a clever player and leader of “The Slobs” who helped transport them Buckeyes in 2014 National Championship.
With the numbers: Elflein was a selection of the top three Big Ten teams from 2014-16 and a unanimous All-American in 2016.
C: Barrett Jones, Alabama
Why it’s here: Jones was a fixture in three national championship teams for Alabama, but his decisive attribute was his versatility. He played point guard, left tackle and acted in the Alabama ’11 and ’12 titles teams, respectively, and made those transitions while maintaining an average of 4.0 points. Few athletes are examples of what Jones can do. He won the Outland Trophy in 2011 and then won the Rimington Prize in 2012.
With the numbers: Jones was a dual pan-American and twice-all-American academic in consensus in Alabama.
G: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Why it’s here: Sometimes it comes with an inner lawn that is simply more forgotten than anyone else. Nelson is this guy. He started in 12 fights in each of the 2016 and 17 seasons for the Irish and helped turn a losing team into a 10-win team that had an obvious attack. Nelson’s natural style has been well translated with the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL.
With the numbers: The Colts took Nelson with the No 6 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. the highest is yet another guard.
T: Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
Why it’s here: Carimi had the undefeated job of replacing Joe Thomas in Wisconsin, but by his senior season the 6-7 tackle had fallen short of expectations. He won the Outland Trophy in 2010 and was the exclusive leader for a dominant offense averaging 41.5 points per game.
With the numbers: Carimi started 49 games in four seasons for the Badgers.
AH: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Why it’s here: McCaffrey put together one of the most incredible seasons in college football history in 2015 with a record 3,903 total yards. It had 2,019 shipwrecks, 645 receiving yards, 1,070 returning kickoff yards and 130 returning yards. There was nothing he could do at Stanford and this talent continues to the next level.
With the numbers: McCaffrey closed that season with a record 368 Catholic yards in the Rose Bowl with a 45-16 win over Iowa.
SN All-Decade Soccer Team: Defense
DE: Joey Bosa, State of Ohio
Why it’s here: Which State of Ohio do you hold defensively? Nick Bosa and Chase Young are potential here, but Joey Bosa set the standard with a career that included 26 sacks and 51 tackles for loss. He enjoyed a dominant 13.5 sacks season to lead the Buckeyes to their first playoff game. This opened the door for others to follow in his footsteps.
With the numbers: Bosa had more problems in Ohio State than goalkeeper Andy Katzenmoyer, who finished with 50.
DT: Aaron Donald, Pete
Why it’s here: Donald has accumulated sacks and faced Pitt losses from 2010-13 and has improved with each season. Donald finished his career of 29.5 sacks and 66 tackles from inside: the numbers that more than hinted at a dominant NFL career would follow.
With the numbers: Donald had seven games with the Panthers, where he had at least one sack and three tackles for loss in the same game.
DT: Ed Oliver, Houston
Why it’s here: Oliver, a 6-1, 287-pound defensive tackle, was blessed with unusual sporting ability from the inside. It was nearly impossible to block at times for the Cougars, and he put together a three-year projection roll that included 13.5 bags and 53 tackles for loss.
With the numbers: Oliver’s signature game came against Louisville and Lamar Jackson in 2016, when he had three tackles for loss, two sacks, two passes defended and an unexpected rebound in a 36-10 victory.
DE: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Why it’s here: Clowney delivered “The Hit” against Vincent Smith of Michigan, a viral moment that characterized his tremendous ability from the edge. Clowney was the top recruit in the country and uploaded the Gamecocks profile under Steve Spurrier. Clowney’s sophomore year – which included 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss – showed how dominant he was.
With the numbers: Clowney’s great successes were listed. It is the fifth all-time in SEC history with nine forced memories.
LB: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
Why it’s here: Te’o was a five-star starter and the heart of a roller that helped propel Notre Dame to the 2012 national championship. Te’o had three straight seasons with 100 or more appearances and finished with seven interceptions in 2012. Te’o He finished second in the Heisman Trophy vote at the time.
With the numbers: Te’o finished with 437 runs at Notre Dame. Only Bob Crable (521) and Bob Golic (479) have more.
LB: Luke Coeli, Boston
Why it’s here: Kuechly swept the Lombardi, Nagurski, Lott and Butkus awards in 2011 and for good reason. The three-time All-American finished his college career with a 191-tackle season. Kuechly finished with 532 runs and set the FBS record with 14.0 assists per game for his career.
With the numbers: Kuechly had 15 games with 15 games or more at Boston College.
LB: C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Why it’s here: The midfielder is Nick Saban’s defense coach in Alabama and Mosley made a direct impact with 67 appearances as an emerging American in 2010. He played with injuries in 2011 before the 100-plus 2012-13 season.
With the numbers: Mosley was more than just a solid player. The 2013 Butcus receiver had 23 tackles for loss and 17 assists against Alabama.
CB: Patrick Peterson, LSU
Why it’s here: Peterson won the Thorpe Award in 2010 and the two-time All-American gained corner finishing skills throughout his career with the Tigers. He had seven interceptions and averaged 24.4 yards per interception.
With the numbers: Peterson was also an electric returner, who collected 1,356 return yards between kicks and deaf in 2010.
CB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Why it’s here: Fitzpatrick won the Thorpe Award in 2017 and was a member of two national championship teams in Alabama. Fitzpatrick was an elegant defender with unusual side-to-side coverage. He had nine touchdowns with four touchdowns, and it was his ability to move around the secondary that made him a matchup nightmare for opposing offenses. He has averaged 57 fights per season.
With the numbers: Fitzpatrick averaged 30.4 yards per rebound.
S: Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
Why it’s here: The “Badger Honey” had an advantage in finding football during a dominant stretch from 2010-11. Mathieu had four interceptions and eight interrogations, adding two punt returns for touchdowns as part of an incredible career with the Tigers. Mathieu’s anxiety about his big projects led him to finish fifth in the 2011 Heisman vote.
With the numbers: Mathieu had 16 defensive passes and 11 forced to spend just two seasons with the Tigers.
S: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
Why it’s here: Peppers played so many places in Michigan we lost count, but was a defensive player who reached fifth place in the Heisman Trophy in 2016. He was an instinctive player who stepped up to defend Don Brown in 2016. The Peppers had only one stop but he had 13 tackles for loss and three sacks in his junior season.
With the number The Peppers scored five offensive touchdowns and returned a punt for a score with the Wolverines.
SN All-Decade Football Team: Specialists
K: Roberto Aguayo, State of Florida
Why it’s here: Aguayo burst onto the scene as a pioneer in the Florida State National Championship team. He scored 21 of 22 goals and made 94 extra points in a season of 157 points. Aguayo won the Lou Groza Award and was a three-time All-American before leaving last year to enter the NFL Draft.
With the numbers: Aguayo has hit 46 of 46 field goals from 40 yards in his college career.
P: Braden Mann, Texas A&M
Why it’s here: Mann completes a fabulous career at Texas A&M, averaging 47.0 yards per catch in each of the three seasons. Mann averaged a career mark of 51 nautical miles per mile as a junior. Mann won the Ray Guy Award in 2018.
With the numbers: Mann’s career average of 49.3 yards will break the FBS record by almost three yards.
KR: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Why it’s here: Perhaps no game showed Penny’s returning ability more than the Aztecs on November 18, 2017 against Nevada. Penny had two touchdowns, returned 70 chips to score in the first quarter and ran 100 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Penny averaged 30.2 yards per rowing for his career.
With the numbers: Penny finished with seven kickoff returns for touchdowns, which is tied with three more for the FBS record.
PR: Dante Pettis, Washington
Why it’s here: Pettis averaged 13.8 yards per catch and had 24 touchdowns for the Huskies, but it was punt returning skills that put this explosive playmaker on the map. He returned a punt for a touchdown in the first three games of the 2017 season and averaged 14.2 yards per return for his career.
With the numbers: Pettis holds the FBS record with nine return wings.