In a move that should surprise no one, the top two teams in The Associated Press’ preseason college football poll produced the most representatives on the ESPN preseason All-America team, released today.
Top-ranked Alabama placed four players on the squad. No. 2 Clemson landed three honorees. Two other schools, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 20 Southern California, were the only other FBS programs with multiple selections on the 25-player roster.
But one Tarrant County high school also managed multiple honorees. Arlington Martin placed two of its graduates, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett and Louisville linebacker Devonte Fields, on the All-America defensive roster. That allowed Martin to become the fifth school with multiple representatives on ESPN’s elite preseason list, joining Ohio State, USC, Clemson and Alabama.
Garrett, a junior, earned All-America honors and was a finalist for the 2015 Lombardi Award after leading the SEC in sacks (12.5), tackles for losses (19.5) and forced fumbles (5) last season. He is draft-eligible and projects as the possible first overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft if he chooses to leave school after this season.
Fields, a fifth-year senior, began his college career at TCU and was selected as the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year before being dismissed from the school in 2014 amid allegations of domestic violence after a dispute at a Fort Worth home. Fields played one season in the junior college ranks before transferring last year to Louisville, where he posted 11 sacks and 22.5 tackles for losses in his first season with the Cardinals.