Oregon senior running back Kenjon Barner can add one more prestigious award to his college football resume.
On Monday, Barner was named to ESPN’s 2012 All-America team giving credence to most college football experts opinions that Barner should also have won the 2012 Doak Walker Award which was presented last week to Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.
Barner, Oregon’s sixth consensus all-american in the history of the program, has now been named to all-American teams by the American Football Coaches Association, the Sporting News, Walter Camp Football Foundation and now ESPN.com’s all-America team.
Should Barner reach all-America status by the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America, he would join LaMichael James as the only other unanimous all-America selection in Oregon football history.
Prior to this season, there was a lot of speculation on whether Barner would hold up as an every down running back.
Barner put those concerns to rest by averaging 135.3 yards per game ranking him No. 5 nationally in that category. Barner rushed for 21 touchdowns and a total of 1,624 yards along with 19 receptions for 232 yards and 1 score.
Joining Barner on ESPN’s All-America Team are:
QB - Johnny Manziel – Texas A & M
RB - Kenjon Barner - Oregon
RB - Montee Ball - Wisconsin
WR - Marqise Lee - USC
WR - Terrance Williams - Baylor
TE - Zach Ertz - Stanford
OT - Taylor Lewan - Michigan
OT - Luke Joeckel - Texas A & M
OG - Jonathan Cooper - North Carolina
OG - Chance Warmack - Alabama
C - Barrett Jones - Albama
In other news, after 13 weeks on the San Francisco 49′ers inactive list, former Duck running back LaMichael James saw his first action on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
In his NFL debut, James rushed for just 30 yards on 8 carries but certainly gave the 49′ers a much needed spark of quickness using his fresh legs.
“I’ve got those fresh legs,” James said after Sunday’s game.
“That’s 100 percent true. That’s definitely a big deal. At this level, those guys have been pounding for two or three months now. Today was my first day ever getting tackled. So I’ve got a little advantage and we’ll take it.”
James was also used on kickoff returns averaging 26 yards on his three returns – one the opening kickoff for 34 yards which he grabbed 8 yards deep in the end zone.
The game “really wasn’t that fast to me,” James said. “I was really calm, I wasn’t nervous and I went out there and played.”
OREGON FEATURES SIX PACK OF PLAYERS ON PAC-12 ALL CONFERENCE TEAM
The Pac-12 announced its all-conference football team on Monday and Oregon led all schools with a total of six selections.
The Ducks six members were split down the middle – three on offense and and three on defense.
On offense, quarterback Marcus Mariota was selected, as was running back Kenjon Barner and center Hroniss Grasu.
On defense, DE Dion Jordan was chosen, as was LB Michael Clay and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
In addition to being named on the all-conference team, Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota was also selected as “Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.”
DUCKS CLOSE FIRST WEEK OF FIESTA BOWL PRACTICE
Chip Kelly and his No. 4 Oregon Ducks closed out their first week of practice on Monday for their upcoming match-up with Kansas State in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl.
In their first week of team workouts, the Ducks practiced four days ( Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday ) working primarily on fundamentals and knocking some of the rust off after two weeks of football inactivity.
Oregon will rest the next three days, ( Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ) before reconvening again on Friday for another set of four practice sessions on December 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th.
According to head coach Chip Kelly, the game plan for Kansas State will begin being implemented into the next four practice sessions and therafter leading up to the game on January 3rd.