As December enters its second week, it’s time for major outlets to unveil their annual college football All-America teams.
Expect UW junior safety Budda Baker to show up on many of them. Sporting News and SB Nation each announced their All-America selections on Wednesday, and both included Baker on the first team.
Of Baker, Sporting News writes: “Baker is an all-around impact safety who had 65 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks and two interceptions. He helped lead that unit to the College Football Playoff.”
SB Nation also cited Baker’s defensive statistics, and noted that UW has the No. 1 defense in the Pac-12. Other UW players were considered, too. Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning finished third at his position among SB Nation’s voters, junior receiver John Ross finished fourth, senior defensive end Joe Mathis finished 10th, junior defensive lineman Elijah Qualls finished fifth, junior linebacker Azeem Victor finished 13th and junior cornerback Sidney Jones finished eighth, and junior receiver Dante Pettis finished fifth in punt/kick returner voting.
Both outlets also included Washington State offensive guard Cody O’Connell as a first-team All-American.
Baker is UW’s first Sporting News first-team All-American since defensive tackle Danny Shelton and outside linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha each made it in 2014, while linebacker Shaq Thompson was a second-teamer. Shelton, Kikaha and Thompson were all on SB Nation’s All-America first team that year.