James Empey named to 2018 FWAA Freshman All-America Team


SAN JOSE, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2019) — BYU center James Empey was named to the 2018 Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team on Monday.

The 13-person panel of nationally-prominent college football experts represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selection of the team. Both true freshmen (18 players) and redshirt freshmen (14 players) were considered.

From American Fork, Utah, Empey started all 13 games this season and was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the No. 1 freshman center in 2018.

Empey is BYU's 16th freshman All-American. Teammate and fellow offensive lineman Thomas Shoaf earned freshman All-America honors in 2016.

BYU’s last starting center, Tejan Koroma, was also named a freshman All-American by the FWAA in 2014 to kick off his four-year starting career for the Cougars. Koroma is currently with the Kansas City Chiefs.  

The 18th annual FWAA Freshman All-America Team features five players taking part in tonight's College Football Playoff National Championship at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and includes Clemson starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Alabama starting cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences with six total selections. The Big 12 was second with five, followed by the Big Ten with four. All 10 FBS conferences and two independents are represented on the team.

The 2018 FWAA Freshman All-America Team