University of Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor joined elite company Wednesday by earning first-team All-American honors from the American Football Coaches Association.
It marked Taylor’s fifth first-team honor among the five All-American teams recognized by the NCAA, making him the Badgers’ first sophomore to garner unanimous All-American honors.
Taylor became the 10th UW player to accomplish the feat and first since Melvin Gordon in 2014. The others are Gabe Carimi (2010), Joe Thomas (2006), Chris McIntosh (1999), Ron Dayne (1999), Tom Burke (1998), Dan Lanphear (1959), Alan Ameche (1954) and Dave Schreiner (1942).
Taylor leads the country in rushing with 1,989 yards and scored 15 touchdowns this season. He won the Doak Walker Award last week as the nation’s best running back and finished ninth in Heisman Trophy voting.
Offensive guards Beau Benzschawel and Michael Deiter also earned spots on the AFCA All-American teams. Benzschawel joined Taylor on the first team, while Deiter was selected to the second team.
It marked Benzschawel’s third first-team honor, making him an NCAA consensus All-American. Taylor and Benzschawel are the 28th and 29th players in program history to be given that distinction.
Deiter collected one first-team honor, from the Football Writers Association of America, while picking up second-team nods from the AFCA, Sporting News, the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Foundation.