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WSU tackle Cody O’Connell named to AP All-America first team

Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Cody O'Connell blocks for running back Gerard Wicks against UCLA on Oct. 15 in Martin Stadium. O’Connell was named to the AP All-American first team on Monday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Cody O'Connell blocks for running back Gerard Wicks against UCLA on Oct. 15 in Martin Stadium. O’Connell was named to the AP All-American first team on Monday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Washington State offensive guard Cody O’Connell was named to the Associated Press All-America first team that was released Monday, making him WSU’s first All-American since Deone Bucannon in 2013.

O’Connell, a junior, is in his first year as a starter at WSU. He is the fifth Cougar since 1990 to be selected to the first team, which is chosen by a panel of voters who participate in the weekly Top-25 polls.

The 6-foot-8, 350-pound O’Connell has been named to a litany of All-American lists in the last week, including those by Walter Camp, the Football Writers Association of America, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated, but was conspicuously left off the Pac-12’s All-Conference team.

O’Connell is the first consensus First-Team All-American from WSU since running back Jerome Harrison in 2005, and the sixth in school history. If he is named to American Football Coaches Association’s first team on Wednesday, he will be just the second unanimous All-American to ever play for the Cougars.

O’Connell was also one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the nation’s top interior lineman.

WSU coach Mike Leach referred to that award, as he does all postseason individual awards, as a team award and said that O’Connell has had an outstanding season and that it is a group effort whenever one such player is recognized.

The Evergreen State was well represented on the 2016 All-American lists, with Washington wide receiver John Ross and Huskies safety Budda Baker making the second team offense and defense, respectively.

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