Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Cotton Bowl Filled With ESPN All-Americans

December 10, 2018

ESPN released its All-American team on Monday morning and confirms the Cotton Bowl is littered with talent from both teams. 

Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love, a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, made the team after recording 47 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception and three fumble recoveries this fall. Love was a significant reason the Irish finished fourth in the FBS in pass-efficiency as Notre Dame gave up just seven passing scores all year.

Irish captain and center Sam Mustipher was also named an All-American for ESPN. Mustipher has given up just one sack in the last two seasons, and just two quarterback hits in 2018 in 883 snaps. Mustipher was also a finalist for the  Rimington Trophy. 

Clemson running back Travis Etienne is just a sophomore but one of the best backs in the country. The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder rushed for 1,463 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2018 on only 176 carries. The Clemson standout averaged 8.3 yards per carry and an incredible 9.3 yards per carry on first down. 

The Tigers defensive line has been getting headlines for 11 months and rightfully so as defensive end Clelin Ferrell and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins made ESPN’s All-American team. 

Ferrell, the winner of the Ted Hendricks Award, led the ACC in sacks with 10.5 in 2018. He also added 17 tackles for loss, 13 hurries and 45 tackles. Clemson finished second in the country in sacks with 45 and tackles for loss with 121. 

Wilkins recorded 52 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and one forced fumble in his final year for Clemson. He helped lead Clemson finish the year with the top-ranked rush defense after giving up just 2.4 yards per carry. Wilkins graduated Clemson in 2 1/2 years and will get his Master’s degree in December. 

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