FBS All-Independent Team and Players of the Year Named

(Photo by Erin Tew/BYU Graphics)

The 2012 FBS All-Independent Team and individual Players of the Year have been named by the nationwide media panel responsible for the FBS Independent Player of the Week awards.
 
Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert (Offensive Player of the Year), Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o (Defensive Player of the Year), BYU punter Riley Stephenson (Special Teams Player of the Year) and Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds (Freshman of the Year) received individual honors.  Te’o wins Defensive Player of the Year recognition for a second consecutive season.
 
Unanimous selections to the All-Independent Team were Te’o, Eifert, BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman, and Notre Dame kicker Kyle Brindza.

BYU had seven players named to the All-Independent Team, second to Notre Dame's 13 selections. Army had three players named and Navy had two in addition to the top freshman honor. BYU also had five players recognized by receiving honorable mention.

Junior linebacker Kyle Van Noy and junior wide reciever Cody Hoffman were both named to the team for the second straight season. 

Van Noy has 11.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss, which ranks tied for No. 10 and No. 11 in the nation, respectively. He also has five forced fumbles on the year, ranking tied for fourth in the nation. A playmaker on the nation's No. 3-ranked defense, Van Noy has recorded eight quarterback hurries, five pass breakups, one interception and one blocked punt.

Hoffman has caught a pass in 31 straight games and leads BYU in all receiving categories. Hoffman's 90 receptions are tied for No. 10 nationally, his 1,134 receiving yards are No. 18 and his 11 touchdowns are tied for No. 11. He is BYU's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2008. 

Other Cougars joining Van Noy and Hoffman on the team were Braden Brown (Sr., OL), Ezekiel Ansah (Sr., DL), Jordan Johnson (So., DB), Stephenson (Sr., P) and JD Falslev (Jr., PR/KR). Stephenson, who received honorable mention one year ago before earning Special Teams Player of the Year honors this season, ranks No. 2 nationally in punting in 2012 with a 47.3 average. He is a key part of a BYU special teams unit that rates No. 2 nationally in net punting at 42.2 yards. He leads the nation with 26 punts of 50 or more yards and is second with 24 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Three other Cougars who received honorable mention in 2011—Brandon Ogletree (Sr, LB), Preston Hadley (Sr., DB) and Daniel Sorenson (Jr., DB)—were recognized again with honorable mention in 2012. BYU's Braden Hansen (Sr., OL) and Jamaal Williams (Fr., RB) also received honorable mention for their contributions to the Cougars this season.

Both Stephenson and Van Noy have received several All-America accolades following the conclusion of the regular season. Stephenson has been named to the Associated Press Second Team, CBSSports.com Second Team and SI.com Second Team to go along with his Phil Steele Third-Team honor. Van Noy has been named to the CBSSports.com Second Team, AP Third Team and was an SI.com honorable mention. Hoffman (SI.com) and Ansah (Pro Football Weekly) have received All-America honorable mention.

The 2012 All-Independent team, individual honorees and players receiving honorable mention are listed below:
FBS All-Independent Team
OFFENSE
QB Everett Golson Notre Dame
RB Raymond Maples Army
RB Theo Riddick Notre Dame
WR Cody Hoffman BYU
WR TJ Jones Notre Dame
TE Tyler Eifert Notre Dame
OL Braxton Cave Notre Dame
OL Chris Watt Notre Dame
OL Braden Brown BYU
OL Frank Allen Army
OL Zack Martin Notre Dame
     
DEFENSE
DL Stephon Tuitt Notre Dame
DL Louis Nix Notre Dame
DL Ezekiel Ansah BYU
LB Manti Te'o Notre Dame
LB Nate Combs Army
LB Kyle Van Noy BYU
LB Keegan Wetzel Navy
DB Bennett Jackson Notre Dame
DB Zeke Motta Notre Dame
DB Tra'ves Bush Navy
DB Jordan Johnson BYU
     
SPECIAL TEAMS
K Kyle Brindza Notre Dame
P Riley Stephenson BYU
R JD Falslev BYU
 
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
 
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
 
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
P Riley Stephenson, BYU
 
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
QB Keenan Reynolds, Navy
 
HONORABLE MENTION
ARMY: LB Geoffrey Bacon (So.), S Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires (Fr.), OL Michael Kime (Jr.), DL Robert Kough (So.), OL Ryan Powis (So.), QB Trent Steelman (Sr.)
BYU: DB Preston Hadley (Sr.), OL Braden Hansen (Sr.), LB Brandon Ogletree (Sr.), DB Daniel Sorensen (Jr.), RB Jamaal Williams (Fr.)
NAVY: P Pablo Beltran (So.), OL Josh Cabral (Sr.), CB Parrish Gaines (So.), RB Gee Gee Greene (Sr.), OL Ryan Paulson (Sr.), KR Marcus Thomas (Jr.), WR Brandon Turner (Sr.)
NOTRE DAME: WR DaVaris Daniels (So.), S Matthias Farley (So.), OL Mike Golic, Jr. (Sr.), DL Kapron Lewis-Moore (Sr.), Christian Lombard (Jr.), CB KeiVarae Russell (Fr.), LB Prince Shembo (Jr.), RB Cierre Wood (Sr.)