Dec 19, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Breece Hall (28) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Brock Purdy (15) in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
As if way-too-early top-25 rankings weren’t enough, we officially have what has to be the first preseason All-American team of the 2021 college football season.
ESPN released its way-too-early 2021 All-America team on Tuesday and a pair of Cyclones made the list.
Junior running back Breece Hall was one of two players from ESPN’s 2020 postseason All-American team to make the cut (along with LSU kicker Cade York) while senior linebacker Mike Rose was also listed among the 26 names.
Hall, a native of Wichita, Kan., became the first unanimous All-American in Iowa State history in 2020 after rushing for an FBS-high 1,572 yards and scoring 21 rushing touchdowns, which ranked second nationally. He also finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting and was the consensus Big 12 offensive player of the year.
“Hall leads a brigade of talented returnees for the Cyclones into next season and was one of college football’s most productive running backs in 2020 as a sophomore,” ESPN senior staff writer Chris Low wrote. “Hall tied for third nationally with eight runs of 30 yards or longer and also caught 23 passes, including two for touchdowns.”
Rose was the consensus Big 12 defensive player of the year in 2020 and is expected to be the star again for one of the nation’s most experienced defenses in 2021. The Ohio native recorded 96 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and five interceptions (leading all linebackers nationally) in 2020 and was named to multiple All-American teams.
“Bringing back the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for another season is always a nice bonus, and that’s one of several reasons the Cyclones have such lofty expectations for 2021,” Low wrote. “His leadership in the locker room is equally invaluable.”
A handful of players expected to be on Iowa State’s 2021 schedule also were honored, including Texas running back Bijan Robinson, Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum and Kansas State all-purpose back Deuce Vaughn.