College football All-Week 1 team: The best players at each position
Each week, we’ll be taking a look at the All-Week team, with the assessment being for the body of work of that week alone. Because the contributions of offensive linemen are more big picture and difficult to gauge on a week-by-week basis, they will be excluded from this exercise.
|Running back||Nick Chubb||Georgia|
|Running back/H-back||Curtis Samuel||Ohio State|
|Wide receiver||Mike Williams||Clemson|
|Wide receiver||Jerome Lane||Akron|
|Tight end||Troy Fumagalli||Wisconsin|
QB: Lamar Jackson | Louisville
Jackson’s career night has already been covered in-depth, but when you score eight touchdowns there’s a good chance you were the week’s best. When you do it in one half, it’s an all-timer. Jackson would have had a great shot at the single-game touchdown record of 11 had he been brought back on the field for the second half.
RB: Nick Chubb | Georgia
Chubb came up huge when his team needed it the most, as his 222 rushing yards were vital in Georgia’s win over No. 22 North Carolina. His breakaway 55-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs up by nine points late was the moment where he definitively announced he was back from last season’s knee injury.
RB/HB: Curtis Samuel | Ohio State
The Buckeyes came into the season expecting Samuel to be a do-it-all weapon on offense, but no one was quite sure how exactly he would fit in. After running for 84 yards and a touchdown and catching nine passes for 177 yards and two more scores, it looks like coach Urban Meyer will be able to use the junior in any way he pleases.
You've heard all about Curtis Samuel's speed, and it's no joke. https://t.co/KUjBSj0bml— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) September 3, 2016
WR: Mike Williams | Clemson
All eyes were on Chubb’s return Saturday, but Williams is also a huge piece making his way back for a top team. After only playing one game last year due to a neck injury in the opener, Williams wasted no time reestablishing chemistry with quarterback Deshaun Watson to the tune of nine catches for 174 yards. The Tigers rode Williams for much of the second half, as he was instrumental in staving off Auburn’s upset bid.
WR: Jerome Lane | Akron
Lane bounced around between safety and linebacker before finally finding a home at wide receiver last year for the Zips. They are surely glad he stuck there, because he was an animal in their opener. The redshirt junior was second among all FBS players with 196 receiving yards in Week 1, and he added a pair of touchdowns. Lane is one of the most dangerous breakaway receivers in the country, and he showed it in the win over VMI.
TE: Troy Fumagalli | Wisconsin
The tight end Fumagalli came up enormous in Wisconsin’s shocking win over No. 5 LSU. The Badgers struggled to find consistent go-to options on offense until quarterback Bart Houston started going to Fumagalli in big spots. The result was some enormous first downs, seven catches and 100 yards to lead the Badgers.
K: Rafael Gaglianone | Wisconsin
Speaking of Badgers coming up huge in the clutch, Gaglianone was gigantic, accounting for 10 of Wisconsin’s 16 points. He made headlines before the season for switching to No. 27 to honor the late Sam Foltz, and his stellar play was a fitting tribute. His 48-yard make late in the first half was a career long, and he followed that up with a game-winning 47-yarder with under four minutes remaining.
|Defensive line||Demetrius Jackson||Miami (Fla.)|
|Defensive line||Anthony Nelson||Iowa|
|Defensive line||Jonathan Allen||Alabama|
|Safety||Malik Hooker||Ohio State|
|Safety||Justin Evans||Texas A&M|
DL: Demetrius Jackson | Miami (Fla.)
The poor Florida A&M Rattlers had no answer for Jackson, who raised his career sack total from 0.5 to 2.5 with a pair on Saturday. Jackson wreaked havoc throughout the game and has three tackles for loss to show for it.
DL: Anthony Nelson | Iowa
What a college debut it was for the freshman Nelson, who was an absolute animal against Miami (Ohio). He finished his day with 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a broken-up pass. There should be more bright things to come in the future for the Hawkeye.
DL: Jonathan Allen | Alabama
Allen has no shortage of talent, but he might just match that in confidence. Before Alabama’s opener against USC, the senior told reporters that his goal for the season is to break Crimson Tide alumnus Derrick Thomas’ single-season sack record of 27. His two sacks in the blowout win over the Trojans has him on that pace, assuming Alabama plays at least 14 games.
LB: Peter Kalambayi | Stanford
It was a big game for Kalambayi, who was effective both in the middle and on the blitz. He finished with six tackles and 2.5 sacks, including one on fourth down in Stanford territory that destroyed Kansas State’s slim comeback hopes.
LB: T.J. Watt | Wisconsin
T.J. Watt is no longer “that other Watt” at Wisconsin but is instead a force of a player in his own right. Les Miles and LSU will be having nightmares about Watt all year long, as he was a complete game-changer throughout the contest. He finished with seven total tackles, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story of the pressure he put on the offense when it mattered most.
LB: Troy Dye | Oregon
It was a spectacular debut for the true freshman Dye, who earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after picking up a nation-leading 4.5 tackles for loss, including a sack, and blocked a field goal. There was a lot of hype surrounding his arrival to Eugene, and he did not disappoint in the slightest.
LB: Mike McCray | Michigan
Like Chubb and Williams, there was a lot of hype surrounding McCray’s return to the gridiron. Many saw him as the missing piece to a Michigan defense that already boasted some great playmakers, and he showed why by earning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors. His big game ended with nine tackles, two sacks, three and a half tackles for loss and a forced fumble in a win over Hawaii.
CB: Marlon Humphrey | Alabama
One of the most highly anticipated individual matchups in Week 1 was Humphrey versus USC star receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. It’s pretty clear that Humphrey was the winner of that bout. Smith-Schuster was held to just a single catch for nine yards, the only time he had been held under three receptions since the second game of his college career. And not only was his coverage impeccable, but he had a tackle for loss and a pick-six to help the Tide pull away.
S: Malik Hooker | Ohio State
There were many changes to the Ohio State secondary in the offseason, with only a few contributors in 2015 coming back. Hooker, who was used sparingly last season, was thrust into a starting safety role and dazzled. He had two interceptions, including an incredible one-handed tip to himself.
S: Justin Evans | Texas A&M
Evans was spectacular against Josh Rosen and UCLA, intercepting two passes including the one that halted a potential last-minute game-winning drive and sent the game into overtime. He was in command of the middle of the secondary, picking up eight tackles and helping to prevent Rosen from ever getting into a great rhythm.
CB: Channing Stribling | Michigan
Stribling played great on Saturday, with his afternoon highlighted by a 51-yard pick-six. The senior should have plenty more opportunities throughout the year as quarterbacks are forced to throw his direction with first-team All-American Jourdan Lewis on the opposite side, although Lewis did not play against Hawaii.
P: Mitch Wishnowsky | Utah
Wishnowsky, who transferred from the JUCO ranks to replace fellow Aussie standout Tom Hackett at Utah, showed off an ability to crush the ball. He led the nation with 55.5 yards per punt in Week 1, breaking Hackett’s single-game school record by a tenth of a yard. His longest punt was 66 yards, and he also downed two inside the 20-yard line. Amazingly, five of his six punts were over 50 yards.