All-Americans

BYU is home to 47 All-Americans with 12 multi-year honorees. Eldon Fortie began BYU’s long line of All-Americans in 1961 and Marc Wilson was BYU’s first consensus All-American in 1979. BYU boasts 12 consensus All-Americans as well as an additional 34 Academic All-Americans.

PLAYER YEARS
Eldon Fortie 1961
Jay Miller 1973, 1974
Wayne Baker 1974
Brad Oates 1975
Jeff Blanc 1975
Orrin Olsen 1975
Gifford Nielsen 1976
Marc Wilson 1979 (c)
Clay Brown 1980
Nick Eyre 1980 (c)
Jim McMahon 1980, 1981 (c)
Bart Oates 1982
Gordon Hudson 1982, 1983 (c)
Steve Young 1983 (c)
Robbie Bosco 1984
Kyle Morrell 1984
Leon White 1984
Marv Allen 1984
David Mills 1984
Mark Bellini 1985
Trevor Matich 1985
Trevor Molini 1985
Jason Buck 1986 (c)
PLAYER YEARS
Pat Thompson 1988
Mo Elewonibi 1989 (c)
Bob Davis 1989
Chris Smith 1989, 1990 (c)
Ty Detmer 1990, 1991 (c)
Byron Rex 1992
Alan Boardman 1993 (f)
Evan Pilgrim 1994
Steve Sarkisian 1996
Itula Mili 1996
Rob Morris 1999
Luke Staley 1999 (f), 2001 (c)
Matt Payne 2002, 2004
Daniel Coats 2003 (f)
Austin Collie 2004 (f), 2008
Dallas Reynolds 2005 (f), 2008
Jonny Harline 2006
John Beck 2006
Jake Kuresa 2006
Jan Jorgensen 2006 (f)
Harvey Unga 2007 (f), 2008 (so)
Dennis Pitta 2008
Matt Reynolds 2008 (f)

ELDON FORTIE
Nicknamed “The Phantom,” Fortie broke 21 school records and is one of only two players in BYU football history to have his number retired. Rushed for 1,149 yards, an average of 5.8 per carry, and passed for 814 yards in 1962. Holds BYU record for most rushing yards in a game (272).

JAY MILLER
Led the nation in receiving with 100 receptions for 1,181 yards including eight touchdowns. Holds BYU record for most receptions in a game (22) and most receiving yards in a game (263).

WAYNE BAKER
Named second team All-American his senior season when he finished with 82 tackles (67 assisted, 15 solo). He also recorded nine quarterback hurries and 10 quarterback sacks as a senior.

BRAD OATES
He was All-Western Athletic Conference and co-captain his last two seasons at BYU, and was named second team All-American by the Associated Press, the highest honor ever for a BYU football player to that date.

JEFF BLANC
Finished his career as BYU career record holder for career rushes, touchdowns, points scored and most yards rushing. Still holds the record for most career rushes (625). Compiled 984 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns during his junior season when he was named honorable mention All-American by UPI.

ORRIN OLSEN
Started all 11 games. Brother of Merlin and Phil Olsen.

GIFFORD NIELSEN
Nicknamed the “Mormon Rifle,” he threw 207 completions for 3,192 yards and 29 touchdown passes. Led nation in touchdown passes, second in total offense, fourth in passing. As a team, the Cougars finished first in passing (307.8), sixth in total offense (424.4) and eighth in NCAA scoring (31.9). 1994 College Football Hall of Fame inductee.

MARC WILSON
Threw 250 completions for 3,720 yards with 29 touchdown passes. Threw seven touchdown passes in first start. Led NCAA in total offense. Ranked fourth in the nation in passing efficiency with a 147.1 rating. 1979 Senior Bowl MVP. Finished third in Heisman voting. Set 10 NCAA records in his career. Winner of Sammy Baugh Trophy as College Passer of the Year. Led team to an undefeated regular season and was named the Holiday Bowl’s Offensive MVP. 1996 College Football Hall of Fame inductee.

CLAY BROWN
Made game winning “hail mary” catch in 1980 Holiday Bowl against SMU. Had 1,009 receiving yards in 1980.

NICK EYRE
Nicknamed “The Bear.” Was BYU’s first consensus All-American lineman. Finished third in the Outland Trophy voting. Was a three-year starter for 24 consecutive games.

JIM MCMAHON
Led nation with 4,571 yards passing including 47 touchdowns in 1980. First Division I player to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season. Set or tied 26 NCAA records. Led nation in total offense (385.6) and pass efficiency (176.9), which ranks fourth all-time in NCAA history. Finished fifth in Heisman voting. Won first-ever Davey O’Brien Award in 1981. Led nation with 3,555 yards passing including 30 touchdowns. Led the NCAA in pass efficiency (155.0) and total offense (345.8). Finished third in Heisman voting. Finished career with 70 NCAA records. 1998 College Football Hall of Fame inductee.

BART OATES
As a two-year starter on the offensive line, Oates earned Honorable Mention All-WAC in 1981 and All-WAC First Team in 1982. He was also named to the All-District VII team. Oates also enjoyed a successful career in the NFL.

GORDON HUDSON
A two-time All-American, Hudson had 67 catches for 928 yards and six touchdowns in 1982 and 44 catches for 596 yards and six touchdowns in 1983. He was also a two-time first-team All-WAC selection.

STEVE YOUNG
Won Davey O’Brien Award and finished runner-up for the Heisman. BYU led nation in total offense and was second in scoring. Cougars set NCAA total offense record with 584.2 yards per game.

ROBBIE BOSCO
Led BYU to only National Championship in school history. Led nation in passing and finished runner-up in passing efficiency (151.8). Runner-up for Davey O’Brien Award and third in Heisman voting.

KYLE MORRELL
As BYU’s safety Morrell was honored as the WAC Defensive Player of the Year with 70 tackles, three interceptions and one sack.

LEON WHITE
Selected defensive MVP of the 1984 Holiday Bowl. Named second-team All-America by The Sporting News as a junior (1984) and honorable mention All-America as a senior (1985) by the AP. Had 10 pass deflections in 1984, including five against Utah State. Recorded 90 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks his senior season.

MARV ALLEN
A two-year starter and four-year letterman that played an integral part on the defensive unit of the 1984 National Championship team. He finished the season with 131 tackles and tied for the team lead in interceptions with four. His efforts earned him First-Team All-WAC honors, an honorable mention All-America nod from the AP. He was also named second-team Academic All-American.

DAVID MILLS
Led team in receiving during his senior season when he caught 60 passes for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns. Played on four WAC championship teams, including the National Championship team in ‘84.

MARK BELLINI
A former walk-on, Bellini led BYU with 63 receptions for 1,008 yards, including 14 touchdowns his senior season in 1985. He was also 10th nationally in receiving average of 5.7 catches per game. Had 138 receptions, 2,267 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns in his career.

TREVOR MOLINI
Named third-team All-American as a tight end his sophomore season and received an honorable mention nod during his junior season. Caught 63 passes for 849 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. Caught 11 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns against New Mexico in 1985.

JASON BUCK
Became only the third player in the western United States to win Outland Trophy. Had 59 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 1986.

PAT THOMPSON
Led conference in punting with 49 punts for 2,195 yards, an average of 44.8 yards per punt. Led the nation in punting for much of the season.

MO ELEWONIBI
Didn’t play football until after high school. Led BYU to a 10-3 record, a berth in the Holiday Bowl and graded out four times with perfect pass protection as a senior. Won the Outland Trophy in 1989.

BOB DAVIS
Had 137 tackles, including six sacks his senior season. A Dick Butkus Award candidate.

CHRIS SMITH
Led team with 60 catches for 1,090 yards, including five touchdowns in 1989. Set NCAA record for tight end with 1,154 yards receiving in 1990. Caught 67 passes and scored two touchdowns.

TY DETMER
First collegian from the Rockies to win the Heisman Trophy. Passed for 5,188 yards and 41 touchdowns. Member of the NCAA All-Decade team. Still holds 19 NCAA records.

BYRON REX
Named UPI Second Team All-American tight end in 1992. He was also a two-time All-WAC selection (1991-1992).

ALAN BOARDMAN
A four-year starter who recorded 204 punts for 8,636 yards, averaging 42.3 yards per kick. His freshman year he ranked ninth among punters nationally with a 43.13 average per kick.

EVAN PILGRIM
A three-year starter on BYU’s offensive line. In 1994, his senior season, Pilgrim anchored an offensive line that was fifth in the nation in total offense. He helped Jamal Willis become the all-time leading rusher in BYU history, while also leading BYU to a Copper Bowl victory over Oklahoma and No. 10 national ranking (final season ranking). Pilgram was named a second team All-American guard by the Associated Press after his senior year.

ITULA MILI
Had 46 catches for a nation-leading 692 yards and three touchdowns for tight ends. First-team All-WAC after senior season.

STEVE SARKISIAN
He had a record-setting two-year (1995-96) career at BYU. Sarkisian completed 549-of-824 passes (66.6 percent) for 7,755 yards and 55 TDs in his career. As a senior in 1996, he led the nation in passing efficiency (173.6, the seventh best mark ever) as the Western Athletic Conference champion Cougars went 14-1 and won the Cotton Bowl. He was the WAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1996 and a second-team All-American.

ROB MORRIS
Two-time all-conference selection. His 345 career tackles is eighth all-time at BYU. He was as a first round draft pick in 2000 by the Indianapolis Colts. Morris was named to the Associated Press, The Sporting News, Football News All-American first-teams after his senior year. He was also a semifinalist for Butkus Award, given to nation’s top linebacker, and the WAC Defensive Player of the year in 1998 after posting 147 tackles during his junior season.

LUKE STALEY
NCAA leader in scoring (15.45 points per game) and third in the nation in rushing average at 143.82 yards per game. Set BYU single season records in touchdowns scored (28), most points scored (170) and rushing yards (1,596). He led BYU to 12-2 record and MWC Championship. He earned the nation’s top running back award, the Doak Walker Award, after his outstanding junior season.

MATT PAYNE
In 2004 he was named AFCA and Sporting News First Team All-American and AP Second Team All-American as a punter. 2004 Ray Guy and lou Groza Award Semifinalist. Led the nation with 51 punts for an average of 48.0 yards per punt while earning All-America honorable mention recognition in 2002. He was also an All-MWC First Team selection three times (2002-04).

DANIEL COATS
Set a BYU freshman tight end receiving record with 30 receptions for 378 yards and four touchdowns. Named a Sporting News Freshman All-American in 2003.

AUSTIN COLLIE
Named to six different All-America teamsas a junior in 2008 after leading the nation with 1,538 receiving yards and 118.31 yards per game. He was named to the CBS Sports.com First Team, earned second-team honors from AP, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and Rivals and third-team recognition from College Football News. Declared early for the NFL Draft as BYU's career receiving leader. Named a Sporting News Second Team Freshman All-American in 2004 after leading the nation’s freshman receivers with 4.82 catches per game and 70.1 yards per game. He was also the 2004 MWC Freshman of the Year.

DALLAS REYNOLDS
Named a College Football News Third Team All-American as a senior center in 2008 after anchoring an offensive unit that was ranked No. 6 in the nation in passing and No. 16 in total offense. Named a Sporting News Third Team Freshman All-American and a Rivals.com Second Team Freshman All-American in 2005 on offense that was ranked No. 13 in the nation. He started in all 12 games as a freshma and all 51 games of his career.

JONNY HARLINE
Picked up six All-America citations, including First Team honors from The Sporting News, ESPN, College Football News, CBS Sportsline.com, SI.com and Third Team honors from the Associated Press. Harline led all BYU receivers in receiving yards (935) and touchdowns (12).

JOHN BECK
Named a Sporting News Second Team All-American while picking up Honorable Mention citations from CBS Sportsline.com, Pro Football Weekly and College Football News. Beck finished his BYU career as the second Cougar passer to surpass to 10,000-yard mark.

JAKE KURESA
Named a College Football News Second Team All-American while earning an Honorable Mention citation from The Sporting News. Anchored an offensive unit that was fourth in the nation in yards per game. He started games at tackle, guard and center during the 2006 season.

JAN JORGENSEN
Earned Third Team Freshman All-America honors from the Sporting News. Jorgensen started each of BYU’s 13 games as a freshman. He tied for the team league with five sacks and led all defensive linemen with 34 total tackles.

HARVEY UNGA
Named a Rivals.com Second Team Freshman All-American in 2007 after compiling 1,050 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards. Unga is the Cougars’ all-time leading freshman running back and the first BYU freshman to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in a single season. He holds the school record for most 100-yard rushing games as a freshman with seven and holds the MWC Freshman Rushing record with 1,227 yards. Received College Football News Sophomore Team honorable mention in 2008 after rushing for 1,132 yards.

DENNIS PITTA
Named a consensus All-American in 2009. Earned first-team honors from Walter Camp Foundation, AFCA and Pro Football Weekly; second team by AP, Sports Illustarted, CBS Sports and Rivals; third team by Sporting News and Phil Steele; honorable mention by College Football News. Set the NCAA record for career receiving yards by a tight end (2,901). Was Rivals.com All-America Third Teamin 2008 after totaling 1,083 receiving yards as a junior in 2008. Also received honorable mention from Sports Illustrated and College Football News.

MATT REYNOLDS
Named to four different Freshman All-America teams in 2008, including Football Writers Association of America First Team, Rivals.com First Team, College Football News.com First Team and Sporting News Second Team. Started all 13 games on veteran offensive line featuring four other senior starters. Received College Football News Sophomore Team recognition in 2009.

BRADEN HANSEN
Named a First Team Freshman All-American by Football Writers Association of America and Phil Steele. Received honorable mention from College Football News.

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