College football All-Week 3 team: The best players at each position
Each week, we’ll be taking a look at the All-American first 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.
ICYMI: All-Week 2 team
|Running back||Donnel Pumphrey||San Diego State|
|Wide receiver||Noah Brown||Ohio State|
|Wide receiver||James Washington||Oklahoma State|
|Wide receiver||Jonathan Giles||Texas Tech|
|Tight end||C.J. Conrad||Kentucky|
|Kicker||Daniel LaCamera||Texas A&M|
QB: Lamar Jackson | Louisville
It’s starting to get silly how many times Jackson has stood out as the top quarterback in the nation, as he makes it 3-for-3 on this list. But until he stops making defenders look like middle schoolers, how can anyone else take his place? In Week 3, the sophomore did it against then-No. 2 Florida State, a great team that simply had no answers for him, especially on the ground. He shredded the Noles for 146 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while also throwing for 216 yards and another score in Louisville’s massive ACC victory.
RB: Donnel Pumphrey | San Diego State
He might not quite be a household name yet, but Pumphrey has had an amazing start to the season. Not only is he leading the nation in rushing yards, but he is doing it by an absurd 135-yard margin over Jackson at No. 2. He extended that lead with his second straight 200-plus yard performance, as he carried the ball 23 times for 220 yards and three touchdowns. The Aztecs have been a pleasant surprise, and they can credit a lot of their No. 22 placement in the AP poll to Pumphrey’s legs.
WR: Noah Brown | Ohio State
After missing all of last season with a broken leg, there was plenty of buzz around Brown being the top passing option for J.T. Barrett in a new-look Buckeye receiving corp. After two pedestrian games to start the year, he lived up to that hype in a big way against Oklahoma. The New Jersey native only caught five passes, but four of those went for touchdowns, including the unbelievable around-the-defender’s-back grab above.
WR: James Washington | Oklahoma State
No one stuffed the stat sheets quite like Washington on Saturday, and he received Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors as a result. The 6-foot-1 wideout hauled in nine catches for a ridiculous 296 yards — an average of 32.9 yards per catch, certainly helped by a 91-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. He also added another score in the second quarter of the Cowboys’ narrow win over Pittsburgh.
WR: Jonathan Giles | Texas Tech
Texas Tech throws the ball more than just about anyone, so almost every game a player puts up some eye-popping receiving numbers. In Saturday’s win over Louisiana Tech, it was Giles who caught six passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns.
TE: C.J. Conrad | Kentucky
Conrad nearly doubled his career receiving yardage in Kentucky’s first win of the season Saturday. He entered the game against New Mexico State with 154 yards over his first 14 games, and he added 133 to that total by the time 60 minutes were up. His three touchdowns, including a 72-yarder, made his career day even better.
K: Daniel LaCamera | Texas A&M
Seventeen of the 29 points the Aggies scored in their 29-16 win over Auburn were courtesy of LaCamera, who went 5-for-5 in field goals and added a pair of extra points. He didn’t need to boom most of his kicks, with the distances being 46, 35, 31, 25 and 26 yards, but it was an impressive day nonetheless.
|Defensive line||Arden Key||LSU|
|Defensive line||Charles Harris||Missouri|
|Defensive line||Myles Garrett||Texas A&M|
|Linebacker||Jon Reschke||Michigan State|
|Linebacker||Jerome Baker||Ohio State|
|Cornerback||Treston Decoud||Oregon State|
|Safety||Justin Evans||Texas A&M|
|Punter||Cameron Johnston||Ohio State|
DL: Arden Key | LSU
Key was a handful on Saturday, picking up his fourth and fifth sacks of the season, a mark that leads the SEC. He finished the game with five tackles, two and a half of which were for a loss, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
DL: Charles Harris | Missouri
Plenty of people were wondering how in the world Harris, one of the top defensive ends in the nation, had yet to record a sack through two games. Sure, the constant double teams were the main reason, but it still seemed overdue for a guy who had seven sacks last season. Well, he made up for lost time in the Tigers’ narrow loss to Georgia, sacking Jacob Eason a whopping three times among his seven total tackles, and he also knocked down a pass.
DL: Myles Garrett | Texas A&M
Garrett is a big 275-pound lineman who still moves very fluidly, and it showed with his two sacks in the Aggies’ win over Auburn. The Tigers had to constantly double team Garrett to contain him the best they could, but even that could only go so far, as he finished with 2.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.
LB: Jabrill Peppers | Michigan
Peppers has had a good year, but he didn’t really have those jaw-dropping do-it-all games that he’s famous for until Saturday against Colorado. In that one, it was peak Peppers. He had nine tackles, 3.5 of which were for a loss, a sack, and generally gave Colorado fits all game. Oh, and he also added a punt return touchdown. His performance granted him both Big Ten Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week honors, making him the first to ever win both in the same week.
LB: Jon Reschke | Michigan State
Reschke, one of the veteran leaders of the Michigan State defense, had an excellent 2016 debut in the Spartans’ big win over Notre Dame. The redshirt junior had a team-high of eight tackles, forced a fumble and picked off DeShone Kizer for his first career interception. Had it not been for Peppers, he would have had a great shot at Big Ten Week 3 honors.
LB: Jerome Baker | Ohio State
Baker completes the triumvirate of Big Ten East linebackers having a huge Week 3. The native Ohio-an had a tremendous all-around game with seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception. That pick was taken back 68 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-down pass early in the game, serving as a huge momentum swing that propelled the Buckeyes to the victory over Oklahoma.
LB: Steven Taylor | Houston
Taylor is the nation’s sack leader with 5.5, two of which came in the Cougars’ win over Cincinnati. The game was much closer than the 40-16 final score indicated, as Houston pulled away at the end with back-to-back pick-six plays. The first was by Taylor, as he ran 74 yards to the house to change the game from Cincinnati possibly cutting it to a one-score contest to putting it away.
CB: Treston Decoud | Oregon State
Decoud received Pac-12 weekly defensive honors for intercepting Idaho State twice, including a 75-yard pick-six. He was a big part of a very solid Oregon State defense that held its opponent to just seven points and picked off quarterback Tanner Gueller four times.
S: Justin Evans | Texas A&M
Evans’ speed and instincts all over the field were on display once again in the Aggies’ win over Auburn. The former JUCO transfer had a game-high 12 tackles, including 10 solo and one for a loss, and presented a lot of headaches for the Auburn offense. He took home SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.
S: Quincy Mauger | Georgia
Mauger continued to terrify Missouri in the Bulldogs’ win on Saturday. The senior now has seven interceptions in his career — four of which have come against the Tigers. He added his first two picks since 2014 and contributed three solo tackles.
CB: Howard Wilson | Houston
Taylor had the first pick-six to close out Houston’s third win, while Wilson added the second one play later. He jumped in front of a pass and returned it 28 yards to officially turn the game from a possible upset to a blowout. That was his second interception of the game, and it could have been his third, and second pick-six, but he dropped one earlier with nothing but green grass in front of him.
P: Cameron Johnston | Ohio State
Johnston was remarkable in front of the primetime audience in Oklahoma. The Aussie punted it five times for an average of 50.6 yards per punt, and he remarkably dropped all five inside the 15-yard line. And if just booming them wasn’t enough, he also prevented Oklahoma from getting a single return opportunity, as all five were downed or fair caught. It was a great reminder of just how valuable a punter can be.