On the heels of one of the best freshman seasons by a University of Notre Dame defensive player, Irish defensive end Aaron Lynch was named to the 11th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team today.
Lynch led the Irish with five and a half sacks and tied for third on the team with seven tackles for loss. His 14 quarterback hurries were the most ever by an Irish defender since the statistic began being charted in 1998.
Previously named a freshmanAll-America first-team selection by both Phil Steele and FoxSports.com, Lynch started six of 12 games played and totaled 33 tackles and added two pass breakups.
Lynch had his biggest gamesagainst some of the best competition he faced in his first season. He recorded five tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and tallied six quarterback hurries in Notre Dame’s 31-13 win vs. then-No. 15 Michigan State. The six quarterback hurries were the most ever in a single game by a Notre Dame player since 1998.
In the regular-season finale at No. 4 Stanford, Lynch tallied a season-best six tackles including one-half tackle for loss. The Cape Coral, Fla., native set his career high with one and a half sacks and one and a half tackles for loss as part of a five-tackle performance vs. No. 25 Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Lynch became the third Notre Dame player selected to the FWAA Freshman All-America team. Defensive tackle IanWilliams was named to the 2007 team and offensive tackle Sam Young was selected in 2006.
The team and coach are selected by an 11-person panel of nationally-prominent writers led by Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News Sentinel. Both true freshmen (14 players) and redshirt freshmen (12 players) were considered for the team and are so noted.
2011 FWAA Freshman All-America Team
*QB Sean Mannion, 6-5, 218, Pleasanton, Calif., Oregon State
*RB Giovani Bernard, 5-10, 205, Davie, Fla., North Carolina
*RB Lyle McCombs, 5-8, 172, Staten Island, N.Y., Connecticut
WR Sammy Watkins, 6-1, 200, Fort Myers, Fla., Clemson
*WR Matt Miller, 6-3, 213, Helena, Mont., Boise State
WR Marqise Lee, 6-0, 190, Inglewood, Calif., USC
AP De'Anthony Thomas, 5-9, 173, Los Angeles, Calif., Oregon
OL Reese Dismukes, 6-3, 300, Spanish Fort, Ala., Auburn
*OL Jake Smith, 6-4, 315, Jacksonville, Ala., Louisville
*OL B.J. Finney, 6-4, 297, Andale, Kan., Kansas State
*OL Chaz Green, 6-5, 306, Tampa, Fla., Florida
OL Kaleb Johnson, 6-4, 298, Jacksonville, Fla., Rutgers
DL Timmy Jernigan, 6-3, 297, Lake City, Fla., Florida State
*DL Marcus Rush, 6-2, 250, Cincinnati, Ohio, Michigan State
DL Jadeveon Clowney, 6-6. 254, Rock Hill, S.C., South Carolina
DL Aaron Lynch, 6-6, 265, Cape Coral, Fla., Notre Dame
LB A.J. Johnson, 6-3, 245, Gainesville, Ga., Tennessee
*LB Dion Bailey, 6-0, 200, Lakewood, Calif., USC
*LB Jeremy Grove, 6-1, 230, Frederick, Md., East Carolina
*DB Merrill Noel, 5-10, 180, Pahokee, Fla., Wake Forest
DB Blair Burns, 5-10, 170, Plano, Texas, Wyoming
*DB Ibraheim Campbell, 5-11, 205, Philadelphia, Pa., Northwestern
DB Quandre Diggs, 5-10, 200, Angleton, Texas, Texas
DB Eric Rowe, Utah, 6-1, 185, Spring, Texas, Utah
*P Brad Wing, 6-3, 184, Melbourne, Australia, LSU
*K Michael Hunnicutt, 6-0, 175, Richardson, Texas, Oklahoma
PR Scott Harding, 5-11, 195, Brisbane, Australia, Hawaii
KR Tyler Lockett, 5-11, 170, Tulsa, Okla., Kansas State
*denotes redshirt freshman