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Alabama has four players named to AFCA’s All-American Team

Byron Young celebrates a sack against Mississippi State
Photo by Crimson Tide photos

The final major selector for college football All-Americans has released its team.

On Wednesday, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) unveiled its All-American Team. Four Alabama players received recognition and all came on defense. Will Anderson Jr., an outside linebacker, earned first-team honors while Jordan Battle (safety), Kool-Aid McKinstry (cornerback), and Byron Young (defensive lineman) were second-team honorees.

Anderson, a junior, led the Crimson Tide in tackles for loss (17), sacks (10), and quarterback pressures (12).

RELATED: Alabama has its first two-time Unanimous All-American of the Nick Saban era

He collected 51 total tackles, a pass breakup, a blocked field goal, and a pick-six. The native Georgian won several individual awards, including Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Trophy, and Lott IMPACT Trophy.

Anderson took home the Defensive Player of the Year award for the SEC in back-to-back seasons.

Battle, a senior, recorded 62 tackles and two pass breakups. He earned second-team All-American honors from Sporting News and third-team for the Associated Press. McKinstry, a sophomore, was a standout defender in the secondary — leading the Tide with 12 breakups. He had 34 total tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, and an interception. As a return specialist, McKinstry emerged as one of the nation’s best. He ranks second nationally in both punt return yards (317) and return average (15.8).

McKinstry earned second-team honors at cornerback from Sporting News and third-team from the AP. He was a second-team selection as a punt returner from the FWAA. Young, a senior, became the sixth Alabama player to earn All-America recognition from one of the five major outlets. He tallied 46 tackles through 12 starts on the defensive line, leading the group. Young had 5.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, and six quarterback pressures. He also totaled two breakups and forced a fumble in his senior year.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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