America’s best college football players were recognized and honored Friday, Dec. 9 at the Cingular ABC Sports All-America Team Celebration, one of Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports) six signature events.
This year’s celebration was held at Sound Stage One at the Disney MGM Studios and was hosted by Regis Philbin of the popular television talk show, Regis and Kelly. The 25 members of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) All-America Team, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious teams, was honored at the event.
The team included Texas quarterback Vince Young and USC standout running back Reggie Bush. Those two players and their undefeated teammates are scheduled to clash in the Rose Bowl on January 4 to determine the national championship. USC and Texas led all teams with three selections each to the prestigious team. Young was joined by Longhorn offensive lineman Jonathan Scott and safety Michael Huff; while Bush’s teammates on the All-America squad included offensive lineman Taitusi Lutui and wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett.
Other standouts included Florida State nose tackle Broderick Bunkley, Colorado kicker Mason Crosby, UCLA kick returner Maurice Drew, Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil, Minnesota center Greg Eslinger, Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali, Washington State running back Jerome Harrison, Auburn OL Marcus McNeill, Northwestern offensive lineman Zach Streif, and Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija.
Rounding out the All-America team was tight end Marcedes Lewis from UCLA, punter Ryan Plackemeyer from Wake Forest, Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams, South Carolina safety Ko Simpson, Miami DB Brandon Meriweather, Ohio State LB AJ Hawk, Alabama LB DeMeco Ryans, Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny, and Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
In addition to the recognition of the All-America team, Tulane University, its head coach Chris Scelfo and five seniors were presented FWAA Courage Awards in recognition of representing their school, their city and the entire Gulf Coast Region this fall after that region was devastated by hurricanes.
The event included a silent auction and television taping. All net proceeds from the event, which was expected to exceed $60,000, will go to the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation, which benefits as-risk and under-served youth in the Central Florida Community through its Florida Citrus Sports Summer Camp, You Can Soar, and Play It Smart programs. In addition, the Foundation awards $1,000 scholarships to 27 high school senior football players through its Scholar Athlete Program and is a source of funding for the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s post-graduate fellowship.