As we approach the start of the college football season, we will be releasing our 2022 Preseason All-American team. Today, we’re adding a pair of Edge rushers, along with some honorable mentions.
You can check out the previous articles below:
The Edge players selected are…
ED Will Anderson Jr. – Alabama
ED Will McDonald IV – Iowa State
The 6-foot-3 Anderson was arguably the best player in college football in 2021, leading all defenders in sacks as well as total pressures, where he was 11 better than the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, Aidan Hutchinson, who finished second.
Anderson won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation’s top defender) and will look to repeat his success in order to solidify himself as the nation’s best player before presumably entering the NFL Draft as a likely Top 5 pick.
McDonald finally got his chance to start in Iowa State’s 3-3-5 defense and starred throughout the 2021 season, primarily lining up as a 5-technique. Among defensive ends, McDonald led the BIG 12 in total pressures and was third in sack percentage. McDonald did lead all FBS defenders in Points Above Average in 2021, just edging out Anderson, and will look to continue his ascension as one of the best defensive players in the country.
ED Myles Murphy – Clemson
ED BJ Ojulari – LSU
ED Nolan Smith – Georgia
ED Nick Hampton – Appalachian State
ED Isaiah Foskey – Notre Dame
Myles Murphy was a wrecking ball on Clemson’s defensive line in 2021. He had a team best 14 TFLs and 7 sacks. He is also 2nd among returning ACC Edges in Total Points. His wonderful blend of speed and power, and his nose for the ball, makes him a dangerous threat off the edge in both the pass and run game.
BJ Ojulari from LSU is 4th among returning SEC Edge rushers for Total Points behind only Anderson, Nolan Smith, and Brenton Cox Jr. He’s also 2nd among returning SEC rushers in Pressures and Pass Rush Total Points.
After the dominant defensive performance of Georgia’s defense during their title-winning 2021 season, Nolan Smith will look to maintain the excellence. He is 2nd among returning SEC Edge rushers in Total Points
Nick Hampton of Appalachian State set the Mountaineers FBS-era record for sacks in a season with 11. He was among 7 other rushers with at least 11 sacks in the 2021 season and will be a player to keep an eye on in 2022.
Isaiah Foskey of Notre Dame led the Irish in sacks with 10 in 2021, and ranked 3rd in Points Above Average among returning FBS players with a minimum of 30 pressures. He plays with leverage and a good mix of speed and power to work into the backfield and will need to use these traits to be a leader again along the Irish’s line.