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Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner Named AP First Team All American

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 American Championship Game - Houston at Cincinnati Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner was named as a first-team All American, per AP voters.

Gardner, who was selected to the AP’s second-team in his sophomore season, has yet to allow a touchdown as a starting cornerback. In his tenure at UC, he’s defended for 94 total tackles, nine interceptions, and 3.5 sacks (includes his takedown of Clayton Tune in the AAC Championship Game).

His esteemed partner and Jim Thorpe Award Winner — Coby Bryant — was selected onto the second team. Gardner and Bryant represent the leaders of the No. 1 pass-efficiency defense in the country, sporting impressive tallies of a 53.5% CMP allowed (fourth in FBS), 18 interceptions (third) and ten total passing TD’s allowed (fifth). The tandem joins the likes of special teams stars P Kevin Huber (2007 and 2008) and K Jonathan Ruffin (2000) as some of the program’s notable selections.

Cincinnati’s next opponent — the Alabama Crimson Tide — also earned some love from voters with first-team selections of QB Bryce Young, LB Will Anderson Jr. and WR Jameson Williams.

Young finished first in Heisman voting, establishing himself as the first quarterback out of Tuscaloosa to win the award and the program’s fourth overall recipient (RB Mark Ingram II, RB Derrick Henry and WR DeVonta Smith). His teammate — Anderson Jr. — did not finish as a finalist but took home the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive player every year.

What’s Next

Cincinnati (13-0, No. 4) is set to face the mighty Crimson Tide (12-1, No. 1) on December 31 at 2:30 P.M. CT. Gardner and Bryant will have the tough job of splitting takes on covering speedster Jameson Williams as Bryce Young takes deep shots down the field.

Williams has scored multiple touchdowns in three of ‘Bama’s last four games including 15 total on the season. But with the looming threat of Gardner’s perfect career on the line, something will have to give.

All College Football Playoff All-American Selections

First Team

QB Bryce Young: Alabama

WR Jameson Williams: Alabama

DE Aidan Hutchinson: Michigan

DT Jordan Davis: Georgia

LB Will Anderson Jr.: Alabama

LB Nakobe Dean: Georgia

CB Ahmad Gardner: Cincinnati

Second Team

OT Evan Neal: Alabama

TE Brock Bowers: Georgia

DT Devonte Wyatt: Georgia

LB David Ojabo: Michigan

CB Coby Bryant: Cincinnati

Third Team

RB Hassan Haskins: Michigan

S Jordan Battle: Alabama

S Lewis Cine: Georgia