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Gophers safety Winfield Jr. named first-team All America

 

 

Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr., is an All-America.

The redshirt sophomore earned the First-Team distinction from the Walter Camp Football Foundation on Thursday, one of several awards for Winfield this season, including Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year. Winfield led the Gophers with 83 tackles and seven interceptions. He also made three sacks, seven pass break-ups and two forced fumbles.

Watch Antoine Winfield Jr. highlights here.

The Gophers have not had a Walter Camp All-America, the oldest such award, since 2005. They haven't sported an All-America player from any outlet since 2014, though Winfield was a freshman All-America in 2016.

Winfield is currently deliberating whether to return to the Gophers with two more years of eligibility or declare for the NFL Draft.

See the complete All-America team.

Also, Gophers coach P.J. Fleck is a finalist for the Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year award. The award, handed out Jan. 15, 2020 after all the bowls games, will honor the country's top college football coach both on and off the field. The National Sports Media Association votes on it. 

Fleck is one of 10 finalists, along with Ohio State's Ryan Day, SMU's Sonny Dykes, Penn State's James Franklin, Navy's Ken Niumatalolo, Memphis' Mike Norvell, LSU's Ed Orgeron, Baylor's Matt Rhule, Clemson's Dabo Swinney and Utah's Kyle Whittingham.

The Gophers coach is also a finalist for the George Munger and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Awards as well as the Bobby Dodd Trophy. He has already won the Big Ten coaches' Coach of the Year title and is the American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year.

Fleck led the Gophers to a 10-2 record, the first 10-win regular season since 1905 and seven conference wins for the first time in program history. The No. 18 Gophers play no. 12 Auburn in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.

Five Gophers named to the Associated Press All-Big Ten teams

Five Gophers players made the Associated Press' All-Big Ten teams Wednesday.

Receivers Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson as well as safety Antoine Winfield Jr., made the first team, while quarterback Tanner Morgan and running back Rodney Smith made the second team.

Bateman and Johnson both ended the year with more than 1,000 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns each while Winfield led the team with 83 tackles and seven interceptions. Morgan set the single-season passing yards record at 2,975 and touchdowns at 28. Smith rushed for 1,094 yards and holds the school record for 5,364 all-purpose yards.

Also, the Gophers had a decommitment in the 2020 class. Benjamin Onwuzo, a 5-11, 185-pound cornerback out of Florida, announced his decision on Twitter on Wednesday. The three-star recruit's departure leaves the 2020 class at 22 members with the Dec. 18 early signing day rapidly approaching.

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